The Andhra Pradesh police on Wednesday put a senior advocate under house arrest at his residence in Kurnool.
Jayaraju Yeggoni, who has been one of the advocates leading the agitation for the establishment of the Andhra Pradesh High Court in the Rayalaseema region, was scheduled to participate in a protest at Penugonda on Thursday.
"As part of the agitation for the HC, the Rayalaseema High Court Sadhana Samithi had given a call to stage a dharna at Yerramanchi village in Penugonda mandal of Anantapur district, where South Korean automobile major Kia Motors is setting up a massive factory," Jayaraju told TNM.
The advocate was rounded up, seemingly because Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu is scheduled to be the chief guest at a 'frame installation programme' hosted by the company.
With an investment of $1.1 billion, the plant aims to produce 3 lakh cars in a year, and the production is expected to commence in the second half of 2019. The state government has allotted 600 acres of land for the plant, and said that it will provide direct employment to 10,000 people.
"Police officers have been placed around my house till 1pm on Thursday, when the programme will get over," Jayaraju added.
It is unclear if the police have also placed other leaders under house arrest.
The Rayalaseema region comprises four districts â€“ Kurnool, Kadapa, Anantapur and Chittoor. The region has several drought-prone areas and witnesses farmer suicides annually.
After the stateâ€™s bifurcation in 2014 for the creation of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh has been building its upcoming capital Amaravati on the banks of the Krishna River, with its latest target being the location of the High Court building.
Even as the state is looking at Vijayawada city civil court complex to host the temporary High Court, lawyers have been demanding that it should be established in the Rayalaseema region.
Last month, lawyers from the Rayalaseema High Court Sadhana Samithi met acting Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan of the Hyderabad High Court and urged him to consider their demand, stating that injustice had been done to the region.
They also appealed to Naidu earlier, to not repeat his â€˜mistakeâ€™ of developing a single region between Vijayawada and Guntur while ignoring the rest of the state.
However, the Chief Minister has said that the Rayalaseema region could only get a bench of the High Court, but not the entire judicial branch.