K. Raghu Ramakrishna Raju, MP from Andhra Pradesh, arrested for sedition by the State CID, bail plea dismissed by High Court

Published : May 17, 2021 11:50 IST

K. Raghu Ramakrishna Raju (extreme right), MP from Narsapuram, being shifted to the District Jail in Guntur on May 16. Photo: T. VIJAYA KUMAR

A single-judge bench of the Andhra Pradesh High Court comprising Justice K. Suresh Reddy on May 15 dismissed the bail plea of K. Raghu Ramakrishna Raju, MP representing the Narsapuram Lok Sabha constituency in Andhra Pradesh.

Ramakrishna Raju was arrested on May 14 from his residence in Hyderabad by the Crime Investigation Department (CID) of the Andhra Pradesh Police and was charged under sections 124A (sedition), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups) and 505 (incite any class or community of persons to commit any offence) read with 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.

He was elected in 2019 on a ticket of the Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP), but in recent months has revolted against the party’s top leadership, primarily Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy.

Ramakrishna Raju’s bail petition mentioned that he had undergone heart surgery four months back and that the Union government had provided him with “Y category” security because of a threat to his life. But it found no favour with the judge who, while expressing his disinclination to entertain the bail petition, directed the State to present Raju before a magistrate in accordance with the law and in compliance with COVID-19 protocols.

After Raju was arrested, the CID in a statement said: “A preliminary enquiry ordered by ADG [Additional Director General of Police] CID P.V. Sunil Kumar found that through his speeches on regular basis Raju was indulging in systematic, schematic effort to cause tensions among the communities and by attacking various government dignitaries in a way which will cause loss of faith in the government which they represent.”

Ramakrishna Raju had just a few days prior to his arrest filed a petition before the special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court that is hearing a disproportionate assets case against the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, asking it to cancel the bail granted to the Chief Minister in the case.

Over the last few months, Raju has been regularly criticising Jagan Mohan Reddy’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. He has also been opposing the Andhra Pradesh government’s decision to introduce English as a language in State-run schools, besides highlighting the alleged attacks on Hindu temples in the State.

Last August, he had written to the Union Home Secretary A.K. Bhalla, alleging that he was getting threatening calls from unknown telephone numbers displaying the international codes of several countries. He had also written to the Centre, alleging that his mobile telephones were being tapped by the Andhra Pradesh State Intelligence authorities at the behest of the Chief Minister. He was accorded “Y category” security cover after he petitioned Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

The YSRCP has written to the Lok Sabha Speaker seeking Ramakrishna Raju’s disqualification as a Member of Parliament.