TDP chief Naidu, son de­tained as they at­tempt to take out rally

They were about to launch ‘Chalo At­makuru’ to protest at­tacks on party work­ers

The Hindu - - FRONT PAGE - Spe­cial Cor­re­spon­dent

Amid high drama, Tel­ugu De­sam Party (TDP) pres­i­dent N. Chan­drababu Naidu and his son Nara Lokesh were placed un­der pre­ven­tive de­ten­tion at their res­i­dence at Un­davalli, near here, on Wed­nes­day.

The po­lice de­tained them to foil their plan to take out a ‘Chalo At­makuru’ rally to protest against alleged at­tacks on TDP work­ers and sym­pa­this­ers by YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) mem­bers. The po­lice locked the main gate of his res­i­dence from out­side as he tried to leave for At­makuru, a vil­lage in the Pal­nadu re­gion of Gun­tur district, ear­lier known for po­lit­i­cal fac­tion­al­ism.

Mr. Naidu alleged that 125 peo­ple be­long­ing to the Sched­uled Tribes, the Sched­uled Castes and mi­nor­ity com­mu­ni­ties were tar­geted by YSRCP work­ers, forcing them to leave At­makuru.

Cars blocked

Ten­sion pre­vailed at his res­i­dence as the po­lice nei­ther al­lowed his con­voy to move out of the house, nor that of Mr. Lokesh, who tried to leave in an­other ve­hi­cle.

Mr. Lokesh was also de­tained and sent back into the house as TDP lead­ers and work­ers, who had gathered at the spot, chanted slo­gans against the govern­ment and the po­lice.

Sev­eral TDP lead­ers and work­ers were ei­ther de­tained in their houses or taken into pre­ven­tive cus­tody in Vi­jayawada and Gun­tur when they “tried to vi­o­late pro­hibitory orders by com­ing on to the roads”.

Con­demn­ing the “po­lice high-hand­ed­ness”, Mr. Naidu said: “To­day is a black day in the his­tory of Andhra Pradesh. This govern­ment is violating hu­man rights and the fun­da­men­tal rights of the peo­ple. We are forced to stage a protest as the govern­ment failed to act against YSRCP cadre who are at­tack­ing TDP work­ers and sup­port­ers in vil­lages. At­makuru vil­lage stands out as a sym­bol of these at­tacks.”

‘Vic­tims of at­tacks’

Mr. Naidu said he had planned to go to At­makuru on Wed­nes­day to drop these vil­lagers back at their homes and in­fuse con­fi­dence in them. All these “vic­tims of YSRCP at­tacks” were given shel­ter in a re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion camp run by the TDP in Gun­tur town for over a week. Yet the govern­ment and the po­lice did not take any step to re­store peace in their vil­lage, he claimed.

The po­lice on Wed­nes­day did not al­low TDP work­ers to even sup­ply food to them in the camp, he alleged. “This rally is to ex­press sol­i­dar­ity with them and we will take it out when­ever the po­lice al­low us to do so.” Speak­ing to re­porters out­side his res­i­dence, Mr. Naidu said: “I am warn­ing this govern­ment, you can­not con­trol us by ar­rest­ing us. You can­not play this kind of politics.”

For sev­eral days now, he had been al­leg­ing that 10 party lead­ers were mur­dered and 500 in­ci­dents of at­tacks on party wok­ers and sup­port­ers had oc­curred across the State in the first 100 days of YSRCP rule.

‘Vic­tims’ evicted

The sec­ond part of the drama was wit­nessed at the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion camp with po­lice swing­ing into ac­tion and evict­ing the ‘vic­tims’ from there. They were then es­corted to five vil­lages, in­clud­ing At­makuru, in five buses un­der po­lice pro­tec­tion. Many TDP lead­ers who tried to pre­vent the po­lice from en­ter­ing the premises were ar­rested.

For­mer Min­is­ters Prathipati Pulla Rao and Nakka Ananda Babu were placed un­der house ar­rest at their homes in Chi­lakaluripe­t and in Gun­tur. For­mer MLA Ala­p­ati Ra­jen­dra Prasad was al­lowed to come to the re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion camp but by af­ter­noon, he along with other lead­ers were moved to Nal­la­padu po­lice sta­tion.

Di­rec­tor-Gen­eral of Po­lice (DGP) D. Gau­tam Sawang said that Mr. Naidu was ‘de­tained at his house’, as he an­nounced he would defy the pro­hibitory orders.

En­act­ing drama: YSRCP

The YSRCP slammed the TDP for en­act­ing a “drama, hir­ing paid artistes”, and said the sit­u­a­tion in Pal­nadu was peace­ful and the peo­ple there had been liv­ing in peace for the last 100 days af­ter “our govern­ment took over.”

SPE­CIAL AR­RANGE­MENT ■

Un­der house ar­rest: Tel­ugu De­sam Party chief N. Chan­drababu Naidu with sup­port­ers at his res­i­dence at Un­davalli, near Vi­jayawada, on Wed­nes­day.

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