After Two Decades, Venkatayapalem Tonsure Case Comes To Trail
Visakhapatnam: After a long hiatus of 20 years, the trail began in the infamous tonsure case of Venkatayapalem in the SC/ST Court in Visakhapatnam on Monday. Thota Trimurthulu, the present Telugu Desam legislator from Ramachandrapuram Assembly constituency (independent at the time of alleged incident) in East Godavari district is main accused in the case.
The MLA and his followers allegedly tonsured two Dalit youths, Koti Chinaraju and Dadala Venkataratnam and beat up three others on 29 December 1996 in Venkatayapalem village for acting as polling agents for the Bahujan Samaj Party in the elections. Subsequently an FIR was lodged on 4 January 1997 and the MLA was arrested along with nine others. After remanded in custody in Rajahmundry Central prison for about three months, the MLA was released on bail.
During the last two decades, one of the ten accused and 24 witnesses breathed their last, trial actually began on Monday in SC/ST Court in Visakhapatnam. After several legal interruptions, the case came to trail afresh on Monday with recently appointed special public prosecutor Y Sujatha arguing the case. Special Judge for SC/ST cases Justice K N Nageswara Rao examined the main witnesses and victim on the first day of the trial. The trial will continue till 12 May.