Hyderabad: Cops deny any wrong doing

Vijayawada police commissioner says that Varma could still hold a press conference in Vijayawada on Tuesday, provided he has a proper venue for it.

Hyderabad: “Not a single TD leader called us to prevent Ram Gopal Varma from holding his press conference. In fact, had Varma requested us, we would have arranged a hotel for him,” Vijayawada police commissioner Dwarka Tirumala Rao told DC, vehemently denying any wrong doing on the part of the police amid criticism that they acted in a high-handed manner in not allowing the film-maker to hold his press conference in Vijayawada on Sunday.

Speaking to this newspaper, Mr Tirumala Rao said that initially Varma was supposed to hold press conference at Novotel. “We did not object to it,” he said. Later Varma shifted the venue to Hotel Ilapuram, which was again cancelled. It is learnt that both the hotels received “threatening calls” after which Varma decided to hold press conference on a busy junction.

“Section 144 is in place and as custodian of the law I cannot allow anyone to break the law. When prohibitory orders are in force, how could we allow him to hold a press conference on the road, that too in a politically surcharged atmosphere? We served a notice to him and told him that he cannot have a press conference on the road,” the police chief said.

“He was then taken into custody under Section 151 CrPC. We told him he can have the press conference anywhere but not on the road. He was taken to the airport,” Mr Rao said adding that the police had permitted three YSR Congress leaders to talk to Varma when they requested.

“There is no illegality in whatever we did. He had to be taken into custody for breaching prohibitory orders,” the Vijayawada police chief said. When asked who threatened the hotel management who ended up denying permission to Varma, he said he was not aware.

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