Vijayawada, May 19: The Crime Investigation Department (CID) of Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday arrested a senior citizen for her comments that were "false" and critical of the state government's handling of Vizag gas tragedy. The accused, a 60-year-old woman, was identified as P Ranganayakamma. She is a resident of Guntur district and had allegedly defamed the Jagan Mohan Reddy government by levelling fake charges. Vizag Gas Leak: No Second Gas Leakage Reported at LG Polymers Industry, Clarify Andhra Pradesh Police.
Ranganayakamma was booked by the CID under Section 41-A of the CrPc. According to reports, other provisions of the Indian Penal Code has also been invoked against her. If convicted, she may end up serving a prison-term of three years. The investigators are also probing the role of a man named M. Raghunath in the spread of misinformation against the state government.
The Opposition has marked dissent over the arrest of Ranganayakamma, calling it an attempt of the ruling regime to silence dissent. The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) has demanded Chief Minister Reddy to intervene in the case and drop the charges levelled against her.
"I called up Ranganayaki Garu this morning & expressed my solidarity with her. She is the age of @ysjagan’s mother and yet he wants to harass her for questioning the Govt. This is a repressive regime that doesn't want its people to voice out their opinions #SupportRangaNayakiMadam (sic)," TDP leader Lokesh Nara said on Twitter.
See Lokesh Nara's Tweet
I called up Ranganayaki Garu this morning & expressed my solidarity with her. She is the age of @ysjagan’s mother and yet he wants to harass her for questioning the Govt. This is a repressive regime that doesn't want its people to voice out their opinions #SupportRangaNayakiMadam pic.twitter.com/6IMUzbpo9x
— Lokesh Nara #StayHomeSaveLives (@naralokesh) May 19, 2020
The gas leak at LG Polymers factory in Vizag earlier this month and led to the death of 12 individuals. The state government had drawn flak as the factory had allegedly resumed operations without a risk-assessment. The Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB) has initiated legal action against the firm.