TRS’ Rajya Sabha member D. Srinivas’s elder son D. Sanjay, who owns a private nursing college in Nizamabad city in Telangana, has been booked under the Criminal Law Amendment (Nirbhaya) Act, 2013 for sexual harassment and abuse of 11 girls studying in the educational institution over the last few months. Sanjay was also a former Mayor of Nizamabad when he was with the Congress.

The police who have recorded the statements of the victims have formed four special teams to arrest Sanjay, but he went into a hiding since Friday morning. State home minister Naini Narasimha Reddy has asked Director General of Police Mahender Reddy to see that justice was meted out to the victims. Sanjay, meanwhile, told some media persons over the phone that he was “targeted as part of political vendetta”.

The filing of criminal cases and hunt to arrest Sanjay by the police assumed significance in view of the strained relations between his father Srinivas and the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi leadership for the last two weeks. Srinivas, 69, was with Congress till two years ago and he had been the president of AP Congress Committee twice. Srinivas after joining the TRS three years ago was first made a government adviser and then sent to the Rajya Sabha as he earned the confidence of party chief and Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao (KCR). However, Srinivas fell out of grace of KCR’s daughter and Nizamabad MP Kavitha after his younger son D. Aravind joined the BJP early this year.

In July second week, Kavitha along with several other TRS seniors from Nizamabad district openly urged KCR to remove Srinivas from the TRS for “resorting to anti-party activities”. The CM is yet to take a decision in the matter. But the TRS has stopped treating the RS MP as a party member and kept him out of all party meetings.

Sanjay who runs a clutch of educational institutions including Shankari Nursing College has been in the thick of allegation of abusing his girl students for the last several years. However, no cases were booked against him. This time Sanjay was booked in cases under IPC Sections 354, 354A, 505 and 509. The registration of cases was preceded by a high drama on Thursday as a group of Shankari Nursing College called on the home minister in Hyderabad and complained that Sanjay had been harassing them over the years. H.M. Narasimha Reddy asked the DGP to look into the case and the latter directed the Nizamabad police commissioner to follow up the complaint.

The 11 girls who complained to the police stated that they were called at night to his place to perform some objectionable acts and they were also threatened if they resisted the orders. The B.Sc (Nursing) students urged the police to shift them out of Shankari College to some other institution as they cannot continue their studies there. The government has also initiated action to probe the violations done by the college management over the years and the education department is likely to issue notices to the institution soon. Sanjay, 45, however, claimed that he was not a part of the college’s management for the last three years. Sanjay on Friday told a few TV news channel reporters in Nizambad from an undisclosed location that he was being “punished for being the son of Srinivas”. Sanjay alleged that certain powerful forces in the TRS orchestrated the attempt to arrest him. Srinivas, who is currently in Delhi, declined to comment.

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