Vijayawada: In a shocking case of caste and gender discrimination, a Dalit woman MLA from the YSRC, was abused by caste and denied entry into a Ganesha temple by members of the opposition Telugu Desam at Ananthavaram village of Tullur mandal in Guntur district on Monday evening.
Tadikonda legislator Undavalli Sridevi was invited to offer puja in the temple. When she tried to enter, TD members tried to prevent her. As the local people fought them back and led the MLA inside, those opposing her entry called for cleansing of the idol as it been rendered “impure by her presence”.
Disturbed by the humiliation, she left the place. She has faced a similar situation earlier too, On April 11, when she was trying to enter the polling booth at Pedaparimi, she was allegedly abused by caste by TD supporters.
On July 7, TD supporters abused her when she visited Harischandrapuram and garlanded a statue of Babu Jagjivan Ram. They not only removed the garland and threw it on the ground, they even broke the statue saying “it had turned impure by her touch.”
Police later arrested two persons, including a minor, in the case based on a complaint lodged by one Arepalli Joji, the police booked four men, including a minor boy.
The adult accused was identified as Kommineni Sambasiva Rao alias Sivaiah. Two others have been identified as the accused; Kommineni Rama Krishna and Kommineni Bujji. They were booked under CrPC Sections 509 (Word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman) read with IPC Section 34 (Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) and Section (R) (S) of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.
Speaking to mediapersons afterwards, Ms Sridevi, said, “TD supporters are abusing me by my caste. They declare anything I touch to be impure and seek its cleansing. They bear a grudge against me as I have been exposing lapses by the Chandrababu Naidu regime, ranging from land acquisition for the capital Amaravati to construction of buildings, insider trading and other issues.”
She said the TD government had discriminated against Dalit farmers while providing a financial package to the farming community.
“TD leaders are unable to digest my win. They tried to get me defeated by resorting to rigging of votes. I have never seen such caste discrimination anywhere in the country. I demand that all those involved should be arrested, including former chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu for training party supporters to behave in such a manner.”...