Violence broke out for the second time in less than a week between among inmates of the Swamy Prabodhananda Ashram and locals.

1 dead in APs Anantapur as ashram inmates and locals clash over Ganesha immersionScreenshot: ETV
news Crime Monday, September 17, 2018 - 11:09

Tension prevailed in Andhra Pradesh's Tadipatri mandal in Anantapur district as at least one person was killed and several others were injured as violence broke out for the second time in Chinnapolamada village in less than a week.

The violence, which broke out among inmates of the Swamy Prabodhananda Ashram and locals, resulted in a situation where people were attacked with stones, sticks and rods. Some inmates of the ashram also allegedly hurled petrol bombs, which resulted in many vehicles catching fire or getting damaged.

The violence can be traced back to Saturday evening, when the police said that inmates of the ashram allegedly hurled stones at locals when three Ganesha idols were being taken to the river Penna as part of an immersion procession. As angry locals reacted, violence broke out and ashram inmates also allegedly used petrol and set vehicles on fire. Seven people were injured in the incident.

While it is yet to be established as to what triggered the violence, locals and the ashram’s inmates have reportedly been at loggerheads for a few years on various issues ranging from laying of drainage pipelines to water contamination.    

Even as the police deployed a massive number of personnel to prevent any further clashes, tension prevailed in the area on Sunday.

Several locals set up a tent outside the ashram and raised slogans, before eventually attempting to force their way into the premises, despite the presence of the huge police force. Anantapur MP JC Diwakar Reddy from the TDP also visited the spot to protest the police's 'failure' in controlling the violence.

Another round of violence soon broke out as the ashram inmates threw stones and damaged the MP's convoy vehicles.  The police then lathicharged and lobbed tear gas shells at both sides to disperse the crowd.

Speaking to the local media after he was shifted to Tadipatri town by the police, Diwakar Reddy said, “The police failed miserably in controlling the situation. Despite having so much authority, why can't they enter the ashram and arrest the accused? If an MP doesn't have security, how will they help the local people and my constituents?"

Diwakar Reddy also said that he would continue protesting till Swamy Prabodhananda was arrested.

The injured are presently undergoing treatment at various hospitals in Anantapur district and the police are making all attempts to pacify both groups and prevent further violence.



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