Roja on way to Amaravathi whisked away by cops from Gannavaram airport

Vijayawada: The AP police here on Saturday took YSR Congress Party leader RK Roja into preventive custody while she was proceeding to attend the National Women’s Parliament being held at Amaravati. She was detained for an hour at Gannavaram Airport and later whisked away to an undisclosed place.

According to reports, as soon as Roja alighted at Gannavaram airport to go to Amaravathi, the police personnel surrounded her and told her that she had to wait as Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama was to arrive there shortly. Then she was taken to a room where she was kept under police surveillance and not allowed to leave. After about an hour, Roja was taken to Vijayawada with a woman police officer. An enraged YSRCP leader entered into heated argument with police officials for “kidnapping” her though she was invited to attend the Women’s Parliament with an invitation and entry pass.

The stormy petrel, member of AP Assembly, Roja said “the incident shows what kind of security the women have under the Chandrababu Naidu government.” She alleged that the “timid” government was trying to prevent her from speaking the truth at the global conclave. She said Chandrababu Naidu and Speaker Kodela Sivaprasada Rao had no moral right to organize the Women’s Parliament as the TDP government was not sincere about women’s empowerment. “Why leaders like Brinda Karat and Medha Patkar, who were working for the women’s cause, were not invited to the event”, she asked.

She also alleged that National Women’s Parliament has turned into a show of family of members of some leaders. She pointed out that daughter-in-law of Chandrababu Naidu and daughters of Union minister M. Venkaiah Naidu and Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao addressed the conclave.

Meanwhile, several YSRCP leaders, including women legislators rushed to the airport and alleged that Roja was kidnapped. On the other hand, the ruling party alleged that Roja was coming to disrupt the event. YSRCP official spokesperson Parthasarathi condemned the action of the TDP government in getting MLA Roja arrested as undemocratic. They said Roja was taken in a car towards Perecharla from Gannavaram and people tracked the car till Medikonduru, after which they lost contact with her. Attempts to reach her over phone also proved futile as it could have been switched off by the cops. Opposition party leaders alleged that Roja was hijacked by the police and demanded that she be released immediately and allowed to take part in the parliamentarians’ convention.

Roja falls down, cries for help: Eye-witnesses said Roja made an attempt to save herself and tried to get out of the car at Medikonduru. In the melee, Roja fell down and was seen in tears. The scuffle of the YSRCP MLA was recorded on the mobile phones of eyewitnesses.

Roja detained after IB alert, claims DGP: AP Director General of Police Sambasiva Rao clarified on Saturday that YSRCP MLA Roja was arrested following information that she might create disturbance in the National Women’s Parliament Session being held at Amaravati.

The DGP informed the YSRCP leaders, including former minister Parthasarathi, who called on him after the arrest of Roja, that the session was being attended by women representatives from across the world and it was the responsibility of the police to ensure peace and maintain law and order. The DGP said the police received a tip-off that Roja would resort to a demonstration near the dais. The DGP said Roja would be allowed to attend the session if they give assurance that there would be no disturbance.

The YSRCP leaders, including Parthsarathi, MLAs Gouri Charita, Giddi Eshwari and others met the DGP protesting the arrest of Roja. Eshwari said they have come to attend the session on the invitation sent by the State government. It was unfortunate that a woman leader was arrested when women empowerment session was going on, she deplored. -NSS

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