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Andhra MLA who destroyed EVM remains elusive

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Amaravati, May 22 (IANS) YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) MLA Pinneli Ramakrishna Reddy, who smashed an Electronic Voting Machine during polling in Andhra Pradesh, remains elusive even as police teams continue their hunt for him.

There was no trace of Macherla MLA even as eight police teams continued their efforts to trace and arrest him.

Though a couple of vehicles of the MLA’s convoy were found in Telangana’s Sangareddy district and his driver was picked up for questioning, the teams could not track him down till Wednesday night.

Police teams from Palnadu district launched a hunt for the MLA after the Election Commission of India took serious note of the video surfacing on Tuesday and ordered strong and immediate action.

To stop Ramakrishna Reddy from leaving the country, the police issued a lookout notice.

Ramakrishna Reddy, who is seeking re-election from Macherla as YSRCP candidate, walked into a polling booth and flung down the EVM during the polling on May 13. The incident came to light on Tuesday after the video went viral.

Director General of Police Harish Kumar Gupta informed Chief Electoral Officer M.K. Meena that efforts were on to arrest the MLA.

The DGP stated in the report that Ramakrishna, along with two aides, had destroyed the EVM. A case was booked on May 15 on a complaint by a booth-level officer.

The First Information Report (FIR) was altered on May 20, listing the MLA as the first accused.

Earlier, CEO M. K. Meena said the MLA’s house was raided by police but he was not found.

"Several teams are moving around to arrest the person," he said.

The incident took place at the Palvai Gate polling booth in Rentachintala mandal of Palnadu district on May 13 during the simultaneous polling for Assembly and Lok Sabha elections.

As the Election Commission of India took serious note of the incident and directed the DGP to take strong action against those involved, the police booked a case against the MLA under 10 sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Representation of the People Act and Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.

According to CEO Meena, these 10 sections are strong sections under which the punishment may go up to seven years. He said a case was initially registered against unknown persons but after going through video footage, the MLA has been named as the main accused.

A memo in the court concerned has also been filed. Palnadu police have sent special teams to Hyderabad to arrest Ramakrishna Reddy. The District Superintendent of Police is heading the investigation into the case.

--IANS

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