The Home Department issued a government order stating that the decision was taken in public interest, and to maintain peace and security in the state.

AP govt drops scores of cases filed during Kapu agitation Vizianagaram land protestsFile image: PTI
news Law Wednesday, December 18, 2019 - 12:00

In an unprecedented yet welcome move, the Andhra Pradesh government has dropped all cases registered during the Kapu reservation agitation in January 2016. The cases were registered during the protests against the land acquisition for Bhogapuram airport in Vizianagaram district and during the attacks on Reliance establishments at Anantapur, Guntur and other places in 2010.

While the decision to withdraw the cases was taken at a recent Cabinet meeting, the Home Department (Legal) issued a government order (GO) with regard to the move. The GO said that the decision was taken in public interest and in order to maintain peace and security in the state.

In January 2016, massive violence broke out during the Kapu Garjana Mahasabha held in East Godavari district, where activists demanded reservations for the Kapu community. The police had booked Kapu leader Mudragada Padmanabham along with several other activists for their alleged role in inciting violence.

Protesters set ablaze the Ratnachal Express at Tuni (in East Godavari district) before damaging a police station, and other public and private properties.

While Kapu community leaders blamed the then ruling TDP for the violence, the party blamed the opposition YSRCP for engineering riots by bringing in “outsiders”. YSRCP, in turn, accused the TDP of not fulfilling its electoral promise and prompting the community to protest. The Crime Investigation Department (CID) was tasked to investigate the violence, and registered over 60 cases with regard to the incident.

In 2015, several cases were registered against farmers and farmers rights activists following a series of protests and agitations opposing the then TDP’s move to acquire 15,000 acres of land at Bhogapuram in Vizianagaram to construct an international airport. YSRCP has also opposed the TDP government’s plan to construct the airport.

In January 2010, hundreds, believed to be followers of late Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy, were involved in attacking and damaging properties belonging to Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) at places such as Guntur and Anantapur.

This came after a Telugu channel and a Russian website aired a speculative story about a conspiracy behind Reddy’s death in a helicopter crash in September 2009. Both the reports alleged the involvement of the Ambani brothers in the helicopter crash that claimed Reddy’s life.

Following the reports, RIL properties were vandalised. Tuesday’s GO called the incidents an “emotional outburst” against RIL.

Andhra Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) Gautam Sawang was asked to send the details of the three incidents along with the opinion of public prosecutors for further action.

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