Dr Sudhakar Rao’s 90-year-old mother Kaveri Bai on Thursday filed a habeas corpus petition in the High Court demanding that the state government produce his son before the court in the next 24 hours.
In the habeas corpus petition, Kaveri Bai pointed out that her son was illegal detained in the Government Mental Hospital in Vizag for more than three weeks without valid reason. A habeas corpus petition is filed under Article 32 of the Indian Constitution, through which the High Court can order the authorities to produce people before it to verify if they have been detained as per the procedures established by the law.
The High Court had already ordered a CBI probe into Dr Sudhakar Rao case. It may be recalled that Dr Sudhakar Rao who was working as civil surgeon in Narsipatnam government hospital was suspended by the state government for raising voice of dissent over shortage of medical equipment in government hospitals. The Andhra Pradesh police had arrested him by tying a rope to his hands, dragged him on the streets and was beaten. Further, the AP police foisted false cases against Dr Sudhakar Rao under Sections 353 for assault, criminal force and obstruction of a public servant from discharging duty, Section 427 of IPC for causing mischief and Section 506 for criminal intimidation. The CBI, which is investigating the case, has also booked cases against Dr Sudhakar based on the complaint by constable V Venkataramana who stated that the doctor had assaulted the police and obstructed the police personnel from discharging their duty. Videos clearly showed that Dr Sudhakar was pinned down on the street much like George Floyd in the United States who was pinned down to the ground by the cops there and died in less than 9 minutes. Dr Sudhkar could have been India’s George Floyd.
The AP police should explain how Dr Sudhakar obstructed the cops from discharging their duty when his hands were tied to a rope. On the contrary, Dr Sudkhakar was a helpless victim who was, as shown in the videos, was crying for help. The police, as shown in the videos, were seen shooing away the bystanders who tried to help Dr Sudhakar.
Clearly, his arrest and illegal confinement in a mental asylum is politically motivated. The Jagan government instead of protecting people’s rights to freedom of expression was creating an atmosphere of fear. “The state government is misusing its resources to target organisations and individuals who resisted its oppressive rule. The assault on my son is a grim pointer on how the state government was using the police to silence dissenters,” Kaveri Bai said.
Dr Sudhakar was a frontline warrior who risked his life every day to ensure that the rest of us don’t fall prey to this epidemic. Unfortunately, the same doctor was being harassed by the state government and his reputations ruined. Further, the state government is treating a victim as if he is the accused by foisting false cases against Dr Sudhakar. In the mental hospital, Dr Sudhakar wrote a letter stating that he feared threat to his life and that doctors were administering medicines that are used for treating mentally unsound leading to serious side-effects. The High Court asked the state government if Dr Sudkhar was in police or judicial custody
Earlier, condemning Dr Sudhakar’s confinement in the mental hospital, the Dalit leaders said is tragic, shameful, and an infringement on the right.