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Telangana: Cong MP Revanth Reddy Arrested in Drone Flying Case

This is the first case in the country where a citizen has been sent to judicial remand in a ‘drone flying’ case.

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India
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Congress Malkajgiri MP Revanth Reddy was arrested by Narsingi Police in Ranga Reddy district of Telangana on Thursday, 5 March, for using a drone to record videos and photos of a farm house owned by KT Rama Rao, working president of TRS and son of CM KCR.

Reddy was returning from Delhi after attending Lok Sabha sessions when he was whisked away for medical examination and produced before the magistrate who sent him to a 14-day judicial custody.

This is the first case in the country where a citizen has been sent to judicial remand in a ‘drone flying’ case, let alone an MP.
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What’s the Case

Accused of flying a drone on a private property, the Congress MP has been booked under Sections 184, 187, 188, 287, 109, 120(b) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 11(a) read with Section 5 A of the Aircraft Act.

Revanth Reddy alleges that Telangana IT Minister KT Rama Rao has built an illegal farmhouse violating Government Order (GO) 111.

Timeline

About a week ago, Revanth Reddy launched a campaign named 'Patnam Gosha', which is about the problems faced in his constituency Malkajagiri. The immediate reaction to this was that the Government started a programme called 'Pattana Pragathi' spearheaded by Municipal Minister K T Rama Rao.

While Revanth's programme started getting lot of attention, media houses started running stories of land grabbing allegations on Revanth.

Almost as a counter to this, Revanth Reddy, on 2 March, called media for a press conference. But unlike a regular conference, Revanth rallied with all of them to a palatial farmhouse at Janwada. Revanth alleged that the farmhouse sprawling over 25 acres belongs to minister KTR himself.

The bone of contention is not the farmhouse but the violation of 111GO. The GO which was brought into effect over a decade ago was to protect the catchment areas around Osman Sagar lake. There cannot be any permanent structures in this area, according to the GO.

While the existence of the permanent structures was established during this press conference by Revanth and ex-MP Konda Vishveshwar Reddy, the political turmoil went to the next level.

The following day, a case was registered alleging that the footage released by Revanth Reddy was shot using a drone. Subsequently, five congress workers were arrested in the case and Revanth Reddy was named A1.

Current Status of the Case

Revanth Reddy is now alleging that they were not given a chance for a station bail, irrespective of how trivial the case is. Bail was granted to the other Congress workers on 6 March but hearing for Revanth's bail has been posted to 10 March.

Reddy is currently in Charlapally prison and cannot meet his family or advocates because of Sunday and Holi holidays.

(Revathi Pogadadanda is a Hyderabad-based journalist.)

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