Six of the nine persons have been arrested, Prakasam Superintendent of Police Mallika Garg said.
The incident took place a month ago – on 19 June – but visuals of the alleged crime surfaced on social media recently.
The now-viral video shows Mota Naveen, who belongs to the Scheduled Tribe community, lying on the ground with blood all over his body, while three other men (visible in the video) urinate on him.
A case has been registered under Sections 307 (attempt to murder) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and relevant sections of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.
The police, in a statement, said that Naveen had allegedly 'harassed' a minor girl, who is a 'close friend' of one of the accused, Abhilash – and that he wanted to "take revenge on him."
Naveen was in jail earlier this year for the alleged kidnap and rape of the said minor girl, the statement added.
SP Garg said that the "revenge" led to an alleged brawl between Naveen and his 'friends' on 19 June, and he was admitted to a government hospital with injuries.
However, the SP said Naveen, in his statement to the police, said that he did not want to pursue the case. He also did not mention the urination incident. "After the video went viral, Naveen gave a statement that his friends harassed him and threatened him by urinating on him," she said.
The accused persons have been identified as Ramanjaneya Chowdary, Rayapati Abhilash, Shaik Sadiq Gafoor, Appanboyina Jaya Shankar Yadava, Chapala Prabhu, Ekambaram Narendra (alias Tillu), and three juveniles, including the minor girl's brother.
The prime accused in the case, Ramanjaneya Chowdary, and Naveen have a history of involvement in property crimes, with nearly 40 cases against them, the statement said.
'Naveen Was in Jail for Rape & Kidnap of Minor Girl'
As per the police statement, Naveen was arrested in January this year for the alleged kidnap and rape of the minor girl and was booked under the provisions of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO).
However, after being released from jail, he continued to harass the girl, according to the statement.
To get back at Naveen, a close friend of the minor girl, Abhilash, and her juvenile brother approached the prime accused, Ramanjaneyulu Chowdary, for help. Chowdary is reportedly a rowdy sheeter who has several cases of theft against him.
On the pretense of wanting to resolve the issues between Naveen and Abhilash, Chowdary and his friends, Prabhu and Tillu, went to his house and invited him to a get-together.
On 19 June, they consumed liquor together and went to an area near the outskirts of Ongole town to meet with Abhilash. All the nine accused who were present at the site beat him up with sticks and later urinated on him.
Of the nine accused, three – including Chowdary – are still on the run, and a team has been formed to find them, the police said. The three juveniles who have been arrested are being presented in court.
The video of the incident surfaced just weeks after a case of a tribal man being urinated upon created a political furore in Madhya Pradesh. Pravesh Shukla, a BJP worker in the Sidhi district of MP, was caught on camera purportedly urinating on a tribal man named Dashmat Rawat while smoking a cigarette in an inebriated state.