TDP leader and former minister Devineni Umamaheswara Rao and 17 of his followers were arrested on Wednesday and sent to 14-day judicial custody by a court in Mylavaram in Andhra Pradesh. The former minister was accused of rioting and criminal conspiracy. On Tuesday evening, violence broke out between YSRCP and TDP activists at Gaddamanugu village when Umamaheswara Rao made a surprise visit to Kondapalli forest reserve area alleging that YSRCP leaders backed by Mylavaram MLA Vasantha Krishna Prasad were indulging  in illegal gravel mining. While he was returning from Gaddamanugu village, YSRCP supporters allegedly pelted stones on his car and claimed that the TDP leader was making false allegations. The confrontation led to violence as around 1000 people from both sides gathered at the village and started attacking each other with sickles and stones, The News Indian Express reported.

In the violence, TDP supporters allegedly attacked a Dalit leader and damaged his house, too. Krishna District Superintendent of Police Siddharth Kaushal said that they have video evidence of TDP supporters provoking and indulging in violence, the TNIE report said.  

Meanwhile, tension prevailed in G Kondur village. Alleging that the ruling party members attacked him and damaged his vehicle, the former minister staged a protest at G Kondur police station by sitting in his car. The protest continued till midnight. However, police arrested him forcibly by breaking open his car window. Some policemen were also injured. Police said that the unrest was created in a “planned manner.” 

“The TDP leaders resorted to assault and created tension at the police station in a planned manner. Around 1 am police shifted the former minister to Nandiwada police station and dispersed the mobs. A few policemen were injured and some vehicles were damaged in the incident,” the SP was quoted as saying by The Hindu

Uma and his followers were booked under Section 307 (Attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), relavant sections of the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 and other charges including rioting, criminal conspiracy and disrupting public servants from discharging their duties.

Meanwhile, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) national general secretary Nara Lokesh on Wednesday alleged that the Andhra Pradesh government is allegedly acting in a vengeful way against Devineni Uma because he is exposing corruption. "Just because Uma is exposing corruption, the ruling party is vengeful against him. What happened to the police when some rowdies attacked the former minister?" alleged Lokesh.

The YSRCP on the other hand alleged that Uma was trying to create unrest. YSRCP MLA from Mylavaram, Vasantha Krishna Mohan, on Wednesday alleged, "Rao is indulging in false propaganda to perpetrate riots and unrest in the peaceful Mylavaram constituency."


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