Konaseema: More than 20 police personnel including SP and DySP were injured when a protest against renaming Konaseema turned violent. The government had proposed to rechristen Konaseema after Dr. B R Ambedkar.
Hundreds of youngsters reportedly belonging to a newly formed outfit, 'Konaseema Parirakshana Samithi' (KSS) defied prohibitory orders and took to the streets, indulging in arson and rioting. KSK workers took out a rally from Subakalasam Centre to the district collectorate. However, they were stopped and asked to disperse citing prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC.
Violence broke out after the police attempted to prevent the 'Chalo Amalapuram' protest.
Protesters pelted stones at the police in which over 20 cops including SP and other senior officials were injured. Protesters also torched Andhra Pradesh Transport Minister Pinipe Viswarup and Mummudivaram MLA Ponnada Satish's residences at Amalapuram. Viswaroop and Satish managed to escape along with their family members. Protesters burnt a parked college bus and a police vehicle near Clock Tower. A group of protesters also set fire to two buses. AP Home Minister T Anita condemned the violence. She said anti-social elements were leading the protesters. She said it was unfortunate that the decision to name the district after the father of the Indian Constitution Dr. Ambedkar was opposed.
The home minister claimed that the decision was taken at the request of the people. Konaseema district was carved out from East Godavari with Amalapuram as its headquarters. It was one of the 13 new districts created on April 4.
The government had named some of the districts after prominent personalities like freedom fighter Alluri Sitarama Raju, former chief minister, and TDP founder Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao, who was popular as NTR. Similarly, two new districts were named after saint composer Tallapaka Annamacharya (Annamayya) and Satya Sai Baba (Sri Satya Sai).
YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government headed by Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy had come under criticism from Dalit groups and others for not naming a district after Ambedkar.
On May 18, the state government issued a notification inviting objections and suggestions on the proposal to rename the Konaseema district after Dr. Ambedkar. It sought suggestions and objections from the people residing within Konaseema. The government asked the People to send objections and suggestions, if any, to the Konaseema district collector within 30 days.