Hyderabad: Members of the Kapu community seeking reservation intensified their stir on Sunday, and set a local police station in Tuni, in Godavari district of AP, on fire. They torched 8 police vehicles causing large scale damage to public property.
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has called for an emergency meet to discuss the issue. The protestors claimed that the Chief Minister failed to keep his promise to Kapu community to include them in the Backward Classes List, and only formed a commission to look into the demands of the community.
The protestors defended their action claiming that they retaliated after the police provoked them by resorting to lathi charge.
WATCH: Two coaches of Ratnachal express set on fire by protestors from Kapu community in Tuni city (AP)https://t.co/pyAxJpnSjs— ANI (@ANI_news) January 31, 2016
The agitating members had also set fire the Ratnachal Express on fire. They resorted to stone pelting, injuring four railway officials. Some trains have been delayed following the commotion.
The train was stopped at 15:20 hrs between Tuni and Hamsavaram railway stations by Kapunadu Garjana agitators who sat on the tracks, climbed on the train and damaged hose pipe and glasses of the coach.
After the passengers in the coaches detrained, 4 coaches caught fire. The passengers are reported safe.
Chaos prevailed at the railway station in Tuni as the protests turned violent and the activists beat up police personnel. Several of the protesters were detained.
Over 2 lakh protestors blocked the Chennai- Kolkata national highway affecting vehicular movement.
The protests have spread to Vijayawada and blockades were also reported in Krishnalanka.
Additional police forces have been sent from Vizag, Rajahamundry to Tuni, to bring the situation under control.
Earlier, members of Kapu community took to the streets and blocked railway lines and highways in Andhra Pradesh seeking inclusion in Backward Class.
The Kapu Aaikya Garjana meet (Unity meet) saw members of the Kapu community assembling on large scale led by their leader Mudragada Padmanabham.
Several leaders of the community Botsa Satyanarayan of YSR Congress, Pallam Raju former union minister, Vatti Vasantha Kumar, congress leader, and former minister extended support to the Kapu movement.
The community has been demanding inclusion of their caste into the Backward Class list.
Lakhs of members from the community gathered at the venue in Tuni of Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh. TDP leaders boycotted the meet.
Addressing the meeting, Mudragada said that AP CM had earlier filed petition in the court against reservations to Kapus when the then Kotla Vijay Bhaskar Reddy government granted reservations.