Farmers from Amaravati in Andhra Pradesh wrote a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday, urging him to accord permission for 'mercy killing' as the Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy government was pursuing "a policy of revenge" against the people of the region by deciding to shift the state capital.
The farmers of Navuluru, in their letter to the President, sought his intervention to stall the process of shifting the capital or grant them permission for mercy killing.
"We intend to die because all doors for solution have been closed and the government of Andhra Pradesh is pursuing revenge against the people of Amaravati. We cannot withstand the onslaught of the government through police force. We opine that death is an ultimate form of protest against the governments that do not guarantee constitutional rights," the farmers said in their representation.
They recalled that farmers of the region voluntarily gave up their fertile agricultural lands for building the state capital after the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh in 2014.
Finalisation of the capital was done after all parties unanimously passed a resolution (in the Legislature) in favour of Amaravati, they recalled.
During the 2019 election campaign, Jagan Mohan Reddy had promised that Amaravati would be continued as the capital, but once he came to power, he backtracked, they said.
"It is in this backdrop that we, with our families, have come on to the streets and are protesting for the past 14 days against the shifting of Amaravati. Nobody from the government is paying an ear to our woes," the farmers lamented.
On top of it, leaders of the ruling YSRCP, including ministers and legislators, have been mocking them and communalising the issue in the name of caste and religion, they alleged.
"We are raising this supposedly strange demand (for mercy killing) only to highlight our plight and request your excellency to grant us permission," the farmers said.
On December 27, the Andhra Pradesh cabinet had deferred taking a decision on relocating the capital, saying that it wanted to wait for the report of an international consulting firm, which is expected to submit the report on January 3.
Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy had indicated on December 17 that Andhra Pradesh could have decentralised capitals.
The existing capital Amaravati, which is only in the basic stages of development could become the 'Legislative Capital', port city Visakhapatnam the "Executive Capital" and Kurnool the "Judiciary Capital", he had said.