Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Former Andhra CM Chandrababu Naidu Arrested By CID; TDP Workers Stage Protest

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Former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh and leader of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), N Chandrababu Naidu was arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on the basis of an arrest warrant linked to an alleged corruption case, with the events unfolding in the early hours of Saturday.

A notable commotion occurred in Nandyal when a team of police personnel arrived to execute the arrest. According to the TDP, Chandrababu Naidu is slated to be transported to Vijayawada via a flight departing from Orvakal Airport. However, Naidu vehemently contested his arrest, citing a lack of presented evidence to substantiate the allegations against him. He expressed his willingness to cooperate with the legal proceedings only if concrete evidence was furnished.

Prior to the arrest, Naidu underwent a medical examination during which elevated blood pressure and diabetes were detected, as revealed by his legal counsel. They indicated their intention to seek bail through the High Court. Furthermore, a minor altercation ensued between TDP supporters and law enforcement personnel.

In a bid to maintain law and order in the state, the State Police detained Nara Lokesh, the son of N Chandrababu Naidu, in the East Godavari district as a precautionary measure. TDP leaders criticized the timing of the police action against their senior leader, with reports suggesting that some party workers were also apprehended by law enforcement.

The area has seen a significant deployment of police forces under the supervision of DIG Raghurama Reddy, although police officials have refrained from providing answers to the queries raised by party leaders, asserting that the remand report comprehensively encompasses the details. They maintained that they possess the necessary evidence, which has been submitted to the High Court, and that the remand report contains all pertinent information. The CID officials conveyed these statements during the altercation.

Speaking to reporters just before being taken into police custody, Naidu vehemently asserted, “I have not engaged in any wrongdoing or corruption. The CID arrested me without proper information, and I requested them to provide evidence, but they declined, associating my name with the FIR without establishing my involvement.”

The Chief of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) was apprehended by the Andhra Pradesh Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in connection with the alleged skill development scam, with an FIR filed in 2021. As law enforcement officers arrived early in the morning to effect Naidu’s arrest, they encountered resistance from TDP supporters, resulting in a minor altercation between officials and Naidu’s backers.

Naidu has been designated as the primary accused in a case involving an amount exceeding Rs 250 crore. Detailed information from the FIR and related documents was supplied to Naidu’s legal representatives, who also demanded preliminary evidence, highlighting that the former chief minister’s name had not been explicitly mentioned in the FIR report.

The charges against the former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister encompass sections related to criminal conspiracy, cheating, and dishonestly inducing the delivery of property. A notice issued under Section 50 (1) (2) of the Criminal Procedure Code listed the specific sections under which Naidu had been arrested, including provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, along with sections of the Indian Penal Code.

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