The Andhra Pradesh police registered a murder case against ruling YSR Congress MLC Ananta Satya Uday Bhaskar, for allegedly being involved in his former driver's death, but the victim's wife demanded that a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation be ordered to render her justice.
Over the last two days, Dalit organisations and the opposition Telugu Desam Party put in sustained pressure calling for the police to arrest the ruling party legislator.
The victim's wife Aparna alleged that the police tried to silence her.
"I was beaten up by women police to give a statement that my husband died in an accident. They also offered me inducements but I did not budge," Aparna, who is pregnant, said.
Expressing doubts over the Kakinada police, she demanded that a CBI investigation be ordered into the case to render justice, even as she asserted that the MLC was responsible for the murder of her husband.
Kakinada superintendent of police M Ravindranath Babu did not respond to calls for any clarification.
Kakinada sub-divisional police officer V Bhima Rao said he was "busy in a meeting" and did not give any details about the case.
After midnight on Thursday, the MLC brought the body of his former driver V Subrahmanyam in his car and handed it over to the victim's family, claiming it was a case of accidental death.
The legislator fled the scene when the driver's family members raised a protest and demanded an explanation.
The Sarpavaram police initially booked only a case of suspicious death under Section 174 of CrPC, though the victim's family members alleged it was a clear case of murder and pointed fingers at the MLC.
The deceased, V Subrahmanyam, had worked as the MLC's car driver for the past five years.
On Thursday night, Bhaskar came to Subrahmanyam's residence and took him away. Later, around 2 am he returned to Subrahmanyam's house with the latter's body and handed it over to the family.
The legislator claimed the driver died in a road accident but when the family members protested, he fled the scene leaving the car behind.
The Sarpavaram police confirmed that there was no trace of any road accident at the spot (Nagamalli Thota Junction) as the MLC had claimed.
The victim's kin allowed a post-mortem to be done only after midnight on Saturday when the police finally agreed to add murder charges.
Accordingly, a case under Section 302 (murder) of Indian Penal Code and also under various provisions of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act was registered against Uday Bhaskar alias Babu.
State director general of police KV Rajendranath Reddy said they would conduct a thorough investigation into the case once the post-mortem report was submitted.
Meanwhile, former MP G V Harsha Kumar alleged that every effort was being made to save the MLC as he was a "benami" of several YSRC top leaders.
"The high court should take suo motu cognisance of the case and conduct a detailed inquiry and bring the culprits to book," Harsha Kumar said.
TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu spoke to the driver's wife over phone and assured her that his party would stand by her and ensure justice.
He wondered why the police so far did not arrest the ruling party legislator.
"The police actions are giving rise to a lot of suspicions. The MLC has to be arrested forthwith,” the former chief minister demanded.