Tension in Chittoor as YSRC and TD Workers Clash
DECCAN CHRONICLE | DC Correspondent
TIRUPATI: Tension gripped the Chittoor region as a series of clashes occurred between the Telugu Desam and YSRC activists on Friday, injuring several persons from both sides as also 50 police personnel, out of which 13 were critically injured.
The clashes were in Angallu near Madanapalle in Annamayya district and Punganur in Chittoor district during the visit of TD chief N. Chandrababu Naidu to the Nayani Cheruvu lift irrigation project and the Handri-Neeva project. Police used teargas shells to drive away the crowds.
As Naidu approached Angallu, the YSRC activists staged a protest and blocked the roads. This led to a clash. Stones were hurled by rival groups, resulting in injuries to TD MPTC member Devender and others. NSG commandos guarding Naidu had a tough time shielding him from the stones flying his way. The police made a lathi-charge to disperse the mob.
Anticipating trouble at Naidu's next stop in Punganur, the police barricaded the town’s entrance and diverted his roadshow via the bypass road. However, the TD cadres were angered by the police action and staged a protest. TD and YSRC activists started stone-pelting. The mob attacked the police, resulting in a lathi-charge and the use of tear gas.
Chittoor SP Rishanth confirmed that over 50 police personnel were injured, including a deputy SP. Allegedly derogatory statements made by Naidu against local MLA Peddireddy Dwarakanatha during a rally in Mulakalacheruvu of Annamayya district in the morning was a provocation for the violence.
"Chandrababu called the Thamballapalle MLA "Ravana" during the Mulakalacheruvu rally. In retaliation, YSRC men blocked the roads while the TD chief was on his way for the public meeting in Angallu. TD workers pelted stones at the YSRC cadres. Many YSRC and TD cadres were injured," the SP said in a statement.
"On reaching the public meeting site in Punganur, Naidu instigated TD cadres to attack YSRC workers and the police. TD workers allegedly pelted stones at YSRC cadres, resulting in injuries to several people. The police anticipated further unrest and barricaded the town entrance, but the already present TD cadres attacked the police, even damaging a bus and a vajra vehicle," the SP said.
He added, "As the situation became increasingly challenging, tear gas shells were fired, but the TD workers persisted in their attacks on the police."