TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu and party leaders arrested by Maharashtra Police stuck to their stand and refused to accept bail after a fresh hearing was conducted upon completion of their two-day judicial remand period on Monday.
Following this, the Nanded magistrate extended their judicial remand but did not specify the period, party sources said. Naidu and 74 TDP leaders were arrested by Maharashtra Police on July 16 when they sought to visit the controversial Babhli irrigation project site constructed on river Godavari. They were remanded in two-day judicial custody on July 17 and detained in the ITI at Dharmabad, 12-km from the Andhra Pradesh border.
The TDP leaders were charged under Sections 135, 143 and 188 of IPC. "We are honourable citizens. We are Telugu people who have strong self-respect. We were deceived by Maharashtra Police and illegally detained by them, that too in our territory in total violation of Constitution," Naidu told the Nanded magistrate, who conducted the hearing for over 30 minutes at the ITI. Naidu also made it clear that it was a question of their self-esteem and hence would not compromise. "We shall lay down our lives, if required, to protect the interests of our state but we shall never seek bail," the former chief minister told the magistrate. He said it was their constitutional right as citizens to freely visit any place in the country.
"But we have been illegally detained by Maharashtra Police for the past four days. Some of our MLAs are seriously ill but the Maharashtra government is behaving in a inhuman fashion. The way the police behaved with us in the past four days is also deplorable," Naidu told the magistrate. Since they had committed no crime, there was no question of seeking bail, he asserted. PTI