Cops book cases against gas leak victims, arrest 5 villagers, 7 CPI activists

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While the state government has so far not arrested even a single official of LG Polymers, the police on Monday was quick to book cases against villagers and political activists.

In a move to intimidate the protesting gas leak victims and residents of five villages, the police on Monday booked cases against five villagers and seven CPI activists. Cases were booked against five villagers and seven CPI activists under the Sections 147, 447, 353, 188, 271 and IPC 51 (A).

Interestingly, the police also booked a case against a ‘woman’ (name was not mentioned) who climbed the LG Polymers plant gate. The only woman who jumped over the gate is Lakshmi whose nine-year-old daughter Grishma died inhaling the deadly toxic fumes emitted from LG Polymers factory last Thursday. Grishma would have turned 10 on June 3, but the deadly toxic gas snuffed out her life. Grishma’s mother Lakshmi made her way to DGP Gautam Sawang and fell at his feet seeking justice. She wailed and sought relocation of the LG Polymers factory from R R Venkatapuram saying it can endanger the lives of people in future too if it allowed to continue its operation.

Only on Monday morning, ministers Avanthi Srinivas, Botsa Satyanarayana and Kanna Babu met the families of eight people who lost their lives inhaling the toxic fumes and handed over Rs 1 crore compensation cheques to them. By the evening, however, the police acted harshly against the villagers by slapping cases and arresting them all because they demanded relocation of LG Polymers factory away from R R Venkatapuram.

The DGP has to come clean on who the unnamed ‘woman’ is against whom a case was booked. Is the ‘woman’ Grishma’s mother, the state government has to answer?

In his recent tweet, TDP president and former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu had asked Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy why the government had failed to arrest the officials of LG Polymers. “Filled with fear, Vizagites are sleeping on the roads. Local residents are protesting on the streets for justice. Bereaved families are weeping alongside the bodies of their loved ones. Not a single arrest made nor a single asset seized. Where is @ysjagan? #VizagDemandsJustice,” he tweeted.

On Monday, senior TDP leader Bonda Uma said the government instead of arresting the company’s officials tried to protect them by providing police cover to them when the residents of R R Venkatapuram protested outside LG Polymers. “While the police arrested the gas leak victims when they protested outside LG Polymers, not a single arrest was made against the company’s officials. This only goes to show that the government was in collusion with the company’s officials. Why didn’t the government arrest even a single company official,” he asked.

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