An employee of the Andhra Pradesh government was physically attacked when he raised questioned about the erection of an arch and Christian symbols by encroaching public road.
Venugopal is a person from the Scheduled Caste Mala community, and works as a junior assistant at the Mandal Revenue Office in Kadapa District.
According to the information filed in the FIR, Venugopal was on his way home when he observed some people constructing an arch on the eve of Christmas celebrations by encroaching on the public road.
A person named Prabhudas and a few members of the Bible Mission Church allegedly beat up Venugopal, for merely questioning the legality of an construction on a public road, causing inconvenience to the public. Prabhudas and his gang also reportedly hurled abuses at him.
The incident occurred on 27 November 2022 around noon, near the YSR Statue at Ashok Nagar (Main) in the Chinna Chowk area.
Venugopal’s injuries included a serious head injury, caused by sharp objects and brute force, which was strong enough to draw blood from his ear to the middle of his head.
Attack on SC employee by persons of Bible Mission Church for raising objection to Public Road Encroachment for Christmas decorations in Kadapa town, AP.
Sections of SC ST Atrocity Act are not included in FIR registered by Chinna Chowk police.
Wrote to National SC Commission. pic.twitter.com/7aLvhRLDjA
— Legal Rights Protection Forum (@lawinforce) December 8, 2022
Based a complaint by the victim, an FIR was filed at the local police station (Chinna Chowk station), a few hours later in the evening of the same day.
In Venugopal’s FIR, he mentions a few names-Prabhu Kumar, Sunil, Bandi Prasad (an ex corporator), Devadas, Vinod and “other members of the Bible Mission Church”. The local police, while filling out the FIR form, based on Venugopal’s complaint, don’t seem to have mentioned the complete names and addresses of the accused attackers.
Though the police have registered the FIR complaint against the attackers they have failed to invoke the much more serious offence of the “SC/ST Atrocities Act” against the perpetrators, in light of the fact that Venugopal belongs to the protected Scheduled Caste (SC) community.
The police have also alleged chosen to ignore the fact that the accused persons were trying to construct a completely illegal structure without obtaining permission of the government authorities.
In a suspicious twist to the case, the local police appear to have registered an FIR against the injured SC victim based on a counter complaint.
In light of this, the SC ST Rights Forum, a non-profit legal activisim organiation has written to the National Commission for Scheduled Castes- Government Of India, requesting the Commission to probe and investigate the actual circumstances of the case to arrive at the truth and to question the local law enforcement officials, for not including the relevant sections under IPC and sections of SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 in the victim’s FIR, considering the brutal physical attack on the SC citizen and government employee, resulting in a serious head injury and a possible attempt to murder him.
Speaking to The Commune, SC ST Right Forum said “It is clearly appearing that the concerned police first filed a case against the victim intentionally. This raises suspicions that the police are trying to weaken the case and deny the basic rights of the poor Scheduled Castes. This is a deprivation of his rights.”
“People are questioning the blatant minority-appeasement policy of the local police and politicians and opine that, had Venugopal’s attackers been Hindu, the FIR and subsequent case would have likely been registered against the stringest provisions of SC/ST Act. Furthermore, the victim was surprised and disappointed to discover that the timings of the registration of both the FIRs, makes it appear like the attackers were first wronged by the real victim (Venugopal), after which Venugopal had filed a counter complaint against his attackers, implying a false motive and weakening his authentic complaint and potential of the case.”, SC ST Right Forum added.
About Bible Mission Church
The Bible Mission Church is an organization in Gooty of Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh which claims to be the “largest” church of its kind in the world. It has been recognised as the world’s largest church by the World Book of Records (WBR, London). It was reportedly established in January,1938. Presently, the church has 114 branches spread across the states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The group’s church in Gooty, sits on 61 acres of land with a sitting capacity of 60,000 people. It consists of facilities like a ‘prayer tower’, a Bible college, a large kitchen, accommodation facilities and water tanks, among other provisions. The Church claims to be working for the “social upliftment” of poor people. It is clear that the church and its mission, are prosperous and quite well funded but the Church denies receiving any foreign funds. The group claims to be conducting “charitable” activities without any foreign aid.
Source : The Commune