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Tension grips Chirala after MLA’s arrest


Tension gripped Chirala on Thursday night as police took into custody TDP MLA Amanchi Krishnamohan, Municipal Chairman M. Ramesh, and 28 others for trying to create a “m ilaw and order" problen the town in the wake of alleged custodial death of a person on Wednesday.

Alleging that Poornachandra Rao, who had been picked up for questioning in connection with a theft case, was done to death by the police, the MLA, along with his supporters, gathered in large numbers and raised slogans against the police. Sensing that the situation might go out of control, the MLA and his followers were taken into custody by the police, SP Ch. Srikanth said. They were later released after taking personal sureties, Chirala DSP C. Jayarama Raju added.

Earlier, the MLA's followers staged a road blockade at Vetapalem in protest against alleged police excesses. Meanwhile, Chirala SI Sriram lodged a complaint with the N.G. Padu police that he was obstructed from discharging his duties while bringing the body of the deceased to Chirala from Ongole after a post-mortem examination. The MLA, along with his followers, allegedly took away the key of the ambulance after a heated argument with police on duty, the SP said.

Judicial probe sought:

Earlier, Mr. Krishnamohan demanded a judicial probe into the death of Poornachandra Rao. Talking to reporters at RIMS, where post-mortem was conducted on the body of the victim by a team of doctors led by Director G.B. Rajkumar, the MLA pressed for changing the officer investigating the case and suspension of Karamchedu SI and other police personnel on duty pending inquiry.

Consoling Poornachandra Rao's wife B. Mahalakshmi, the MLA promised to take her to Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and arrange for suitable compensation. Disputing the police version that Poornachandra Rao, an autorickshaw driver, was picked up from Vijayawada, Mahalakshmi said that her husband was taken from their house in Vetapalem on Tuesday evening itself for questioning.

After the post-mortem, Dr. Rajkumar, who is also head of the Forensic Science Department at RIMS, said: We will be able to come to any conclusion only after studying the Forensic Science Laboratory report."

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