Amaravati: Protests erupted in many districts of Andhra Pradesh following the introduction of two key bills namely the decentralization bill and CRDA repeal bill in Assembly which summarily ring the curtain down on Amravati capital.

 While hundreds of farmers of Amaravati capital region have been on warpath for over a month, today those opposed to the splitting of the capital into three entities hit the road, staged dharnas and held demonstrations in many districts. The CRDA region looked like war-zone with the deployment of thousands of police and farmers trying to defy the prohibitive orders.

Responding to the Chalo Assembly call given by JAC, thousands farmers started marching towards Assembly in the capital region since morning despite restrictions. 

But the police chased them away. And at some places, police resorted to lathi-charge. Many farmers, including women, are said to have been injured in the scuffle with police and in the lathi-charge.

In another incident Guntur MP Galla Jayadev, who came to Amravati to participate in the Chalo Amaravati has reportedly been dragged into a police van and taken to Narasaraopet police station. It is reported that his shirt was torn the melee. His office staff at Guntur alleged that Jayadev was not allowed to change the torn-shirt and had even been denied tablets.

MP Galla Jayadev MP Galla Jayadev

Mandadam village, the epicentre of Save Amaravati movement, has been in the grip of tension. Despite the curbs under Section 144 farmers tried to gather at Dharna Chowk.  All routes leading to  Amaravati have been blocked by police to make them out of  bounds for TDP leaders.

Scores of leaders belonging opposition parties have been taken into custody or kept under house arrest. Anticipating trouble on Monday, police took senior leaders such as former ministers Kalava Srinivasulu, Pattipati Pullarao, Devineni Uma Maheswara Rao etc  into custody. CPI state secretary Ramakrishna has also been taken into preventive custody.

Meanwhile, RTC services have been withdrawn between Vijayawada and Guntur to make the Amaravati Assembly inaccessible to the TDP workers. Police have stopped traffic on Prakasam barrage to prevent public arriving at Amravati in response to JAC call “Chalo Assembly”.  

Dozens of TDP leaders and “Save Amaravati” JAC members laid siege to the residence of home minister Mekatoti Sucharita in Guntur opposing the shifting of capital to Vizag. Led by former TDP minister Alapati Raja, people staged a sit-in at the home minister’s residence raising slogans against introduction of the bills mean to annul the capital status of Amarvati. Later police had taken them into custody.

In East Godavari district, Amaravati JAC member’s led by Jyothula Navin Kumar organized a protest march near Ramavaram village. They blocked the traffic on the National Highway by burning tyres. Later the police restored normalcy by arresting Navin and other leaders.

In Ongole, a dharna has been organized by the workers of CPM demanding the rollback of the three-capital proposal. CPM district secretary P Anjaneyulu said the capital formula would do more harm to the state and the people.

Jinka Nagaraju

Jinka Nagaraju is a Hyderabad based journalist. He covered the entire spectrum of political activities of Telugu states from Hyderabad and New Delhi for about 3 decades. He represented Vaartha in New Delhi during the most happening decade of 1996-2006. He was political correspondent of Times of India from Hyderabad for 10 years. He was editor of Asianet’s Telugu digital platform. He contributed to many digital media outlets such as Al Jazeera, News 18, Newsable, South Post, The Lede ,Down to Earth etc. He is known for his Anthropological approach in the news analysis. He studied Physical Anthropology and prehistoric archaeology with Human population genetics as specialization, and his area of interest is Political Anthropology and Media Anthropology.

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