No clarity in SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act: Police

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Hyderabad, Jun 26 (UNI) A top police official today admitted that there was no clarity in the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act regarding whether a complainant has to be present at the site where a section of the people burnt his effigy or slapped it with shoes.

In the wake of the arrest of Telugu daily 'Andhra Jyothi' Editor K Srinivas and two contributors under the SC/ST Act on June 24, based on a complaint lodged by Madiga Reservation Porata Samithi (MRPS) Founder-President M Krishna Madiga that he was insulted when his effigy was slapped during a procession and burnt on May 26, City West Zone Deputy Commissioner of Police Ravi Varma told newspersons that the scribes were arrested prima facie after evidences were established in the investigation and after taking legal opinion.

''But the Act does not say anything on whether the complainant should be present at the site. Cases were booked against them and they were arrested under clause 1 and 10 of Section 3,'' he added.

Stating that the investigation officer was probing the case after their arrests, he said, to a query, that the 'failure' of the police officials in stopping the procession and the burning of Mr Madiga's effigy would also be probed as it was the duty of the cops to prevent such incidents.

'Andhra Jyothi' employees had organised a rally in the city in protest against the attack on their office by the MRPS activists for printing 'objectionable' matter in the newspaper.

No cases were booked against any employee of the newspaper when they resisted the police from arresting the Editor and two others at the office, Mr Varma said.

He said the police would not oppose the bail plea of the arrested persons.

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