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Monday, May 29, 2023

MP Raghu Raju allegedly tortured by Jagan Reddy’s police – shocking photos emerge

In a relief to the Member of Parliament (MP) Kanumuru Raghu Rama Krishna Raju arrested and allegedly tortured by Andhra CID, the Supreme Court (SC) ordered that he be kept at Secunderabad Army hospital till further orders. The court was hearing two appeals, including one by Raju, against the Andhra Pradesh High Court order dismissing his bail plea, and the second one from his son K Bharath who had sought Raju’s medical examination by a private hospital.

Though SC did not immediately grant bail but ordered an immediate medical examination of Raju who alleged that he was tortured in custody. He is to be taken out of Andhra Pradesh jurisdiction to Telangana. He will be medically examined by a board of three doctors of Army Hospital, Secunderabad of Telangana, in the presence of a judicial officer to be nominated by Telangana Chief Justice. 

The proceedings of the medical examination must be video graphed and be submitted before the Telangana High Court in a sealed cover for being transmitted to the SC. The court added that he shall be kept in hospital admission till further orders of the Court and the period of admission will be treated as judicial custody.

Earlier, he was questioned by the Andhra Pradesh Crime Investigation Department (CID) who arrested him on Friday from Hyderabad and took him to their Guntur office, 300 kilometers away. Suspiciously this is where the FIR is registered and he was produced before the magistrate the next day. It is in this Guntur office that he was allegedly physically tortured for several hours in a sedition case. 

Raghu Raju had won the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from Narasapuram, AP on a YSRCP ticket. However, he soon fell foul of CM Jagan Reddy and made several revelations about the scale and extent of illegal Christian missionary activity in the state of AP. He added that 25% of the state’s population were Christians, but most of them hid their identity to avail SC (Scheduled Caste) reservation benefits. He has also alleged his own party’s role in the illegal auction of TTD lands and diversion of sand for sale in the black market. Conversions in AP have sky-rocketed after the politically powerful Christian family of Jagan Reddy and his late father YSR, a staunch Sonia loyalist, came to power.

Raju has worked with both the opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the BJP before rejoining the YCRCP. Just a few weeks back, Raju had asked a CBI court to cancel Jagan Reddy’s bail in a 2012 disproportionate assets case claiming he was violating bail conditions. In response, an AP CID team led by R Vijaya Paul, ASP Guntur, arrested him on charges of ‘sedition, disturbing communal harmony and attacking dignitaries of the Jagan Mohan Reddy government’. 

A police statement issued after his arrest said a preliminary inquiry against the MP “found that through his speeches on regular basis Raju was indulging in systematic, schematic effort to cause tensions among the communities and by attacking various government dignitaries in a way which will cause loss of faith in the government which they represent”.

Once AP CID had Raghu Raju in police custody at Guntur police station, he was allegedly beaten up and tortured before being produced before the magistrate. The magistrate recorded that when he was produced there were ‘some injuries’ on his feet and put on record that in December 2020, Raju has had open-heart cardiac bypass surgery. 

Raghu Raju Torture
‘Some injuries’ on Lok Sabha MP Raghu Raju’s feet after arrest by Andhra CID (source: Twitter)

The magistrate then directed the cops to take Raju for medical examination in a government hospital and also in a private one clearly mentioning that a ‘government hospital will be biased’. Interestingly, he was taken to a government one but never to a private one, though one Ramesh Hospital was clearly specified in the order. 

Interestingly, when the matter came up in the SC, the state lawyers were asked whether Raju could be admitted to Ramesh Hospital. The answer was that Ramesh Hospital is a problem because last year, there was a fire there in which 20 people died and the hospital is being prosecuted for that! Another option mentioned was the AIIMS at Mangalagiri in Andhra. The bench was told that AIIMS, Mangalagiri is a newly-established hospital and is not ‘properly staffed’. 

On Saturday, he was produced before an Additional Junior Civil Judge’s court in Mangalagiri in Andhra Pradesh. Even though he complained to the judge that CID sleuths tortured him in custody, the court still extended judicial custody till May 28 and sent him to hospital for treatment.

Raju’s lawyers moved the High Court, which passed orders constituting a medical board as immediate relief and gave directions to provide necessary treatment to the MP. The bench also directed that the entire examination should be video graphed and handed over to the District and Sessions Judge in Guntur.

That medical board constituted to examine the nature of injuries of Raju was a three-member one headed by the Superintendent of GGH, Guntur. It is alleged that this Superintendent, a gynecologist is the wife of the head of the legal cell of the ruling party! That board ‘found’ that there are no injuries to Raju! The same officer who prepared the FIR mentions ‘Occurrence prior to 14.5.2021’- ‘Information received at Police Station Guntur on 14.5.2021’. Amid high drama, Raju was taken out of the Government General Hospital (GGH) from the rear gate and was shifted to jail.

Raju’s lawyers told the court that section 124A (sedition) was added without any evidence that their client had incited rebellion or violence. It was added as all the other offenses charged are bailable. This is a suo moto case based on the inquiry by DG (CID), who himself is the complainant, and is also the one who directed this inquiry.

The urgency shown to arrest Raju was not on display today as the CBI courts adjourned the above-mentioned Jagan bail plea till the 26th of May.  

It is alleged that CID officials met the petitioner when he was in custody, thus violating the law. Meanwhile, Raju’s wife Rama alleged that her husband’s life is in danger in jail. She stated that if anything happens to him, the state government, the Chief Minister, and CID will be responsible. Last year too Raju had to request the Delhi High Court to get official protection from the central government after facing threats from various sections.

This case shows yet again how Indian law and polity operates as per two different unwritten frameworks – one for those labelled ‘Hindutva/majoritarian’ forces, and the other for ‘secular, liberal’ operators. A BJP CM or even a PM would have been crucified alive by now if they had done what Jagan Reddy has done to Raghu Raju. Many in the country would not even be aware that Jagan Reddy had filed an affidavit in SC accusing the current CJI NV Ramana of working against his government at the behest of TDP. Can we imagine how the legal community and SC judges would react if a BJP leader were to cast such aspersions on the judiciary? Clearly, our current Republic is like an apartheid state for Hindus, especially for those who are self-aware and assertive.

If verbal attacks against government dignitaries can be construed as sedition, then half of Lutyens’ Delhi should be in jail for their daily verbal diarrhea against Narendra Modi and his government. And here a Christian CM is alleged to have had a Hindu MP tortured, and there is hardly any discussion on it in media, and among ordinary Hindus.

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