Maharashtra police uses force against dam protesters from Andhra Pradesh
Action followed their attempt to reach the Babli project being built on the Godavari River The new arrests came even as TDP leaders, who were arrested for a similar attempt on Tuesday, were released
The Maharashtra police yesterday used force to stop a protest march by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) activists of Andhra Pradesh from reaching the controversial Babli project being built by Maharashtra on Godavari River after they stopped a similar march by Telugu Desam party the previous day.
Five BJP activists were injured as police caned them on the inter-state boundary in Nizamabad district. The police also arrested senior BJP leaders when they were trying to cross into Maharashtra.
BJP state unit president Bandaru Dattatreya and former union minister Ch. Vidysagar Rao were among 10 party leaders arrested near inter-state border.
The caning and arrests of BJP leaders came even as Maharashtra police released the leaders of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) who were arrested for a similar attempt on Tuesday.
All 15 TDP leaders, including nine legislators, were released by the police in Aurangabad after being kept in custody for nearly 24 hours.
Violence broke out Tuesday when hundreds of TDP activists tried to march towards the site of the Babli project to protest the “illegal” construction of the dam by Maharashtra.
At least 20 TDP activists were injured when Maharashtra police resorted to baton charge when they tried to cross the border near Dharmabad in violation of prohibitory orders.
Normal life was thrown out of gear in five districts of Telangana region yesterday due to a shutdown called by the TDP to protest caning of their activists by the Maharashtra police. All parties including the ruling Congress supported call.
While public buses remained off the roads, shops, cinema halls, business establishments and educational institutions were closed in Nizamabad, Karimnagar, Adilabad, Warangal and Nalgonda districts.
Protesters in Karimnagar damaged a bus belonging to the Maharashtra road transport corporation and sporadic violence was reported in other parts of the region as well.
In Hyderabad, state Minister for Major Irrigation P. Lakshmaiah and other ministers took out a silent march to protest the Maharashtra government’s attitude.