Police manhandle TDP leaders; party seeks CM's apology

Hyderabad: Police allegedly manhandled senior Telugu Desam leaders and legislators and arrested them when they sat on a 'dharna' here today, inviting a strong reaction from the main Opposition party which demanded an apology from Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K Rosaiah.

The TDP legislators were staging the sit-in outside the Chief Minister's Office block in the Secretariat here this afternoon demanding immediate release of funds towards reimbursement of fee for professional students.

Coming down heavily at police over the "undemocratic and ruthless" action, TDP President N Chandrababu Naidu demanded that Rosaiah immediately tender a public apology to the legislators over the manhandling incident.

The Opposition Leader sought an explanation from Director General of Police K Aravinda Rao on the legislators' arrest. "This is not dictatorship. We are in a democracy and the legislators have every right to stage a peaceful protest."

He lashed out at Hyderabad Central Zone Deputy Commissioner of Police Akun Sabharwal for asking the TDP leaders to disperse from the police station premises.

"On what basis have you arrested our legislators in the Secretariat? How can you arrest MPs and MLAs when they did not create any trouble? Where was the need for you to manhandle them? This is totally unfair. We shall not move from here till the Chief Minister apologises. Otherwise the consequences will be serious," Naidu warned.