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Acrimonious debate over Paritala killing

By Our Staff Reporter



The Congress MLA, R. Chenga Reddy, undergoing medical check-up after he was accidentally hit by a mike uprooted by his party colleague, T. Venkat Rao, in the Assembly in Hyderabad on Wednesday.

HYDERABAD, FEB. 23. A forceful demand by the Telugu Desam to dismiss the Panchayat Minister, J.C. Diwakar Reddy, and an enquiry by a Supreme Court judge into the killing of Penukonda MLA, Paritala Ravi, marked a four-hour acrimonious debate in the Assembly on Wednesday. It remained inconclusive.

Initiating the debate, T. Devender Goud (TDP) said amid protests from the Treasury Benches that Mr. Diwakar Reddy should be dismissed as his name figured in the FIR along with the son of the Chief Minister, Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy. He sought suspension of the Rayalaseema IG R. P. Meena, for allegedly conspiring to eliminate Ravi.

Remarks expunged

The House witnessed heated exchanges between the treasury and Opposition benches forcing the Speaker, K. R. Suresh Reddy, to repeatedly warn members to observe restraint. He expunged certain references made by Mr. Goud and the Agriculture Minister, N. Raghuveera Reddy.

The reference to the Chief Minister as a `faction leader' drew loud protests. There was further trouble when Mr. Goud alleged that the TDP cadres were being killed. He repeatedly alleged that the Chief Minister was involved in the murder of the TDP MLA.

Member injured

Irked by his remarks, T. Venkat Rao (Congress) removed the mike and tried to fling it towards the Opposition benches. S. Ramalinga Reddy (TRS) prevented him by holding his hand. R. Chenga Reddy, who was sitting next to the Congress member, sustained a minor injury on the forehead.

Mr. Goud suspected a deep-rooted conspiracy behind the murder and expressed doubts at surrender of the suspects and role of the police.

He said that the police raided Ravi's house to send signals that there were no arms.

The defamation case filed by the Chief Minister's son in Pulivendula court was another ploy to eliminate Ravi, he charged.

He expressed fear that more murders would take place as factionists were using the mafia to eliminate their rivals.

The Government Chief Whip, N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, denied the charges and launched a frontal attack on the TDP.

He asked why it had not raised the issue during the last eight days in if it was genuinely concerned about Ravi.

Condemning Ravi's murder, M.A. Gafoor (CPI(M)) criticised the TDP and the Congress for failing to keep away factionists from their parties.

He said the Government should transfer the police officer against which the TDP had made allegations.

The CPI floor leader, Ch Venkata Reddy, wanted the TDP and the Congress not to give ticket to factionists. He sought a proper probe into the incident.

G. Kishen Reddy (BJP), Akbaruddin Owaisi (MIM) and K.Nagesh (TRS) called for putting an end to factionalism.

K. Ramulu (Janata Party) said the debate should not prejudice the ongoing probe.

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