Security has been beefed up in the Konaseema region, with around 3,000 police personnel deployed.

Chalo Amaravati Kapu leader Mudragada Padmanabham under house arrest as police foil padayatraImage: Facebook/Godasi Manikanta_Naidu
news Politics Wednesday, July 26, 2017 - 15:49

Kapu leader and former Andhra Minister Mudragada Padmanabham was placed under house arrest along with other leaders at his residence in Kirlampudi, as he stepped out for his 'Chalo Amaravathi' padayatra.

This follows a 'siege-like' situation throughout East Godavari district, and several other places, as the padayatra demanding BC status for the Kapu community the state, began to gather steam.

According to reports, as many as 3,000 police personnel were rushed to the Konaseema region, with police posts set up at both sides of the Sir Arthur Cotton Barrage, the Gammon Bridge, along with the Ravulapalem and Siddantham bridges.

All roads that lead to the Velagapudi Secretariat and Amaravati are being thoroughly checked, while the road that runs past state Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu's residence, has been closed to traffic, reports add.

This also comes after the police department said that it was using drone cameras to keep a watch on the village, along with several police personnel with body-worn cameras.

Meanwhile, a massive amount of personnel were deployed at Mudragada's house, with police maintaining a blanket around his residence. 

The police did not allow Padmanabham to speak to reporters, stating that Section 144 was in place, in the area.

The Hindu reported that Padmanabham planned to take out the padayatra after the “police suppression ends” and until then, asked the Kapu community to stage an indefinite strike in all villages throughout the state. 

This comes in the backdrop of the police making it clear that no permission would be granted, and the state would actively work to foil the walkathon.

Director General of Police (DGP) N Sambasiva Rao already appealed to youngsters asking them not to participate in the padayatra.

Keeping in view the violence that had broken out in the past, he advised the youth not to involve themselves, and spoil their future. 

“We have decided to deny permission in wake of violence during his (Mudragada) previous public meet. If anything goes wrong, the police will not be mere spectators. We will take stern action against those indulging in violence. We will take action against those who support the padayatra as well," the DGP was quoted as saying.

At the height of the Kapu agitation in January 2016, activists set fire to the Ratnachal Express at Tuni in East Godavari district.

Following this, the TDP government constituted the Manjunatha Commission to look into the issue. 

Angered by the delay in the Commission's report, Kapu leaders planned the 400-km padayatra that would cover the districts of East Godavari, West Godavari, Krishna and Guntur, before ending at Amaravati.

 

IANS inputs

 

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