Friday, 22 Jan, 1.20 am Deccan Chronicle

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Andhra Pradesh cops foil Telugu Desam's yatra, detain key leaders

TIRUPATI: Tension prevailed for some time in Tirupati when Telugu Desam leaders were to take out a 'Dharma Parirakshana Yatra' to protest against the spate of attacks on temples in the state.

The Tirupati urban police foiled the yatra, scheduled to take-off from here, covering seven Assembly segments under Tirupati Lok Sabha constituency and spread across Nellore and Chittoor districts.

Police detained several leaders, including State chief Kinjarapu Atchannaidu, leaders like Nakka Anand Babu, Amarnath Reddy, Nimmala Rama Naidu, A. Satya Prasad, Panabaka Lakshmi and Sugunamma.

It is pertinent to mention that Tirupati Urban police on Wednesday evening accorded permission for conducting the Yatra under certain rules and conditions. It was scheduled to take-off with a rally from Alipiri to NTR statue, where a public meeting was also planned before the commencement of the yatra. However, the police withdrew the permission Thursday morning and served notices to leaders, citing that they had violated rules by holding a bike rally and arranging heavy sound systems.

At Alipiri tens of party leaders and workers were taken into custody and police thwarted a bid to conduct a public meeting in Town Club circle, where the party workers arranged heavy sound systems. , high tension prevailed at the private hotel where a strong police force foiled attempts of activists to barge into the hotel for the release of their leaders, including Atchannaidu.

However, Atchannaidu made it clear that 'Dharma Parirakshana Yatra' would continue, no matter the hurdles and roadblocks at the behest of YSRC leaders.

'House arrests and huge police force deployment will not deter the TD's spirit from conducting the yatra. Today, the high-handed behaviour by the police is part of the harsh measures of the government, which is trying to suppress peaceful and democratic protests against the spate attacks on Hindu temples', Atchannaidu said while addressing the media later.

At Kadapa, leaders and party activists staged protests in various parts of the district condemning the illegal arrest of politburo member Kala Venkata Rao. In Kamalapuram, state secretary Kashibhatla Satyasainatha Sharma held a massive rally and staged a dharna in front of the tahsildar's office and submitted a petition to the deputy tahsildar.

State executive secretary Bachala Pullaiah said that the illegal arrests of Telugu Desam party leaders in the state were atrocious.

Balishetti Hariprasad, another state executive secretary said the arrest of Kalavenkata Rao was an atrocious decision. Yatagiri Ram Prasad, former director of the State Fisheries Corporation, said that the barge was meant to suppress the weaker sections. There were protests in Visakhapatnam and Anakapalle against the arrests of their leaders in the last 24 hours.

Former Anakapalle MLA Peela Govind Satyanarayana said fearing exposure of their deeds, the YSRCP government is resorting to such dubious arrests.

'YSRCP government is killing democracy by making illegal arrests during peaceful protests. Police officials have become agents of the Jagan Mohan Reddy government,'' Satyanarayana said.

In Anakapalle, MLC Buddha Naga Jagadiswara Rao led a dharna at Ambedkar statue. There is repression all over the State but the TDP would not hesitate to stage protests whenever the government indulges in illegal excesses, he said.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by Dailyhunt. Publisher: Deccan Chronicle