Union Home minister Amit Shah has spoken to the family of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) activist Sai Ganesh from Telangana's Khammam district, whose death by suicide has sparked tension in the area. Alleging that he was "unable to bear torture from police", Mr Ganesh attempted to take his own life on April 14 in front of the police station and died in a hospital two days later.
In a telephonic conversation with Sai Ganesh's family, Amit Shah expressed condolences and assured justice.
Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar is also scheduled to visit Khammam today amid statewide protests planned by the BJP. Party workers are demanding a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the resignation of the Transport Minister.
State BJP Chief Bandi Sanjay has called for statewide protests with black ribbons. He himself is currently on a 'Praja Sangrama Yatra' -- a campaign against "corruption & misgovernance of TRS government" -- and will sit on a protest in between the yatra.
Former Union Minister Renuka Chowdhury, who is also from Khammam, has also appealed to Home minister Amit Shah to order action against state Transport Minister Puvvada Ajay Kumar who has been accused of instigating cases against Sai Ganesh, who was incidentally to get married next month.
Telangana BJP's Core Committee Member and Tamil Nadu Co-Incharge Sudhakar Reddy along with other BJP leaders visited the residence of Sai Ganesh and provided financial assistance. He arranged a call with the Union Home Minister and made the family speak to him, news agency ANI reported.
Mr Shah also instructed Telangana BJP leaders to assist the family in getting justice by taking up the matter to the High Court if needed.
Sudhakar Reddy, in a tweet, alleged that the BJP activist died by suicide due to harassment he faced from state Trasport Minister Ajay Kumar Puvvada.
"Met family members of beloved Kayakarta, Sai Ganesh, at their residence Khammam, TS & assured his grandmother of all possible assistance besides getting justice for him. Did my part by providing financial help. Ganesh committed suicide due to the atrocities of Ajay Kumar Puvvada," Mr Reddy said.
"Also connected the family telephonically with Union Minister Amit Shah Ji who extended full party support & assured that jointly, we will fight until justice is delivered. It was a very kind gesture on part of Amit Shah Ji and we are thankful for his support," he added.
Met family members of beloved Kayakarta, Sai Ganesh, at their residence Khammam, TS & assured his grandmother of all possible assistance besides getting justice for him.— Ponguleti Sudhakar Reddy (@ReddySudhakar21) April 19, 2022
Did my part by providing financial help.
Ganesh committed suicide due to the atrocities of @puvvada_ajay.1/2 pic.twitter.com/3sOBevB5cP
The BJP leaders who accompanied Reddy alleged that Mr Ganesh "clearly mentioned in the dying declaration that TRS Minister Puvvada Ajay is responsible for his death."
Sai Ganesh, who was also the district convenor for the Bharatiya Mazdoor Union, had multiple run-ins in the past with the Minister. BJP leaders allege that cases were filed against Sai Ganesh for exposing alleged corruption through social media posts.
Sai Ganesh was admitted to the hospital and spoke to the media where he said that after a BJP meeting, he installed a flag post in the "no objection area" and alleged police officers broke it.
While being taken to hospital, Sai Ganesh -- a driver -- alleged that "for no fault of his" 16 police cases have been filed against him at the behest of a minister, Puvvada Ajay Kumar and some other TRS leaders.
Mr Ganesh said that "his self-esteem was hurt" and tried to take his own life due to "being unable to bear the torture from police."
Khammam Special Branch Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Prasanna Kumar told ANI that Sai Ganesh had around 9 cases against him in the past.
Since January, he started participating in many activities and a rowdy sheet has been opened, the police said.
Denying the allegations made by Mr Ganesh, police said before BJP Foundational Day on April 6, he installed a flag post and people in the locality who had objections to it had broken that.
Telangana's ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi has been pushed on the back foot after two recent incidents of suicide and one of their leaders' sons being named in a kidnapping and gang-rape case.
Six TRS leaders have been arrested in the twin suicide case of a mother and son in the Kamareddy district. The TRS leader's son who is accused in the gang-rape case has also been arrested.