A meeting organized by the Kapu community at Tuni, East Godavari district on Sunday demanding 'Backward Classes' status for the community, turned violent with agitators setting fire to Ratnachal Express.
Sources said that the train engine was damaged in stone throwing by the agitators, leaving four railway employees injured and gutting four bogies.
Ex-MP of Kakinada, Mudragadda Padmanabam who had called the public meeting, said that the government is misleading the Kapus and that the agitation would continue till they are merged with the Backward Classes through a Government Order.
People from towns and villages in Nellore, Guntur, Krishna, East and West Godavari and Visakhapatnam districts and some from Rayalaseema also attended the meeting. The Kapu leaders have got support from YSRCP and Congress. Around four lakh Kapus have taken part in the rally.
According to police sources, 20 DSPs and around 2,000 police personnel were deployed for bandobust duties. A number of agitations have been organized on this issue in the past.
This particular meeting assumed significance, as some sections of the youth and middle-aged people in this community are unhappy with the TDP government’s decision to appoint Justice Manjunatha Commission, which has been asked to submit a report on ways to include people like Kapu, Telaga, Balija and Ontari living below the poverty line into the BC list.