Hyderabad: Telangana Police on Monday seized Rs 18.67 lakh cash from the residence of a relative of the BJP candidate in the Dubbak by-election but his supporters took away over Rs 12 lakh after attacking the police, a police officer said.
Siddipet Police Commissioner Joel Davis said the cash was seized from the residence of S. Anjan Rao, a relative of BJP candidate M. Raghunandan Rao, and it was meant to be distributed among voters in Dubbak Assembly constituency, where by-election is scheduled on November 3.
However, Raghunandan Rao and his supporters reached there and took objection to the search. They entered into an argument with tehsildar and executive magistrate of Siddipet mandal, V. Vijay Sagar who conducted the search.
Vijay Sagar said when he was coming out of the house along with the police officers, a group of 20 people, provoked by Raghunandan Rao who was standing at the gate along with about 200 followers, jumped the compound wall, attacked them and snatched the money from his bag.
An Assistant Commissioner of Police and some other police officials received the injuries while protecting the money. The official said when they counted the money later, they found Rs 12.80 lakh was robbed. He told the police that he can identify those who snatched the money if he saw them again.
The Police Commissioner said the searches were conducted at the residences of BJP candidate Raghunandan Rao’s father-in-law S. Ramgopal Rao, another relative Anjan Rao and Siddipet Municipal Chairman, Rajanarsu of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).
The incident triggered tension in the town as the BJP staged a protest against the police. It alleged that the police tried to plant money in the house of Raghunandan Rao’s relative at the behest of the ruling TRS.
As BJP state President Bandi Sanjay reached Siddipet, the police stopped him on the outskirts and forcibly sent him to Karimnagar. Police said his entry into the town could have led to trouble.
Police also detained BJP leaders G. Vivek and P. Jitender Reddy and sent them back to Hyderabad.
On learning about the incident and arrest of party leaders, Union Minister of State for Home G. Kishan Reddy rushed to Siddipet from Hyderabad.
He met Raghunandan and other party leaders, who alleged that the TRS government hatched a conspiracy to frame them.