Kakinada: Threatening to go on an indefinite fast if their demands were not met, Kapu community leader Mudragada Padmanabham on Monday said that Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu was responsible for the violent turn of events at Tuni.
Alleging that Telugu Desam Party brought in anti-social elements to create trouble and disrupt a peaceful agitation of the Kapu community, Padmanabham told the Deccan Chronicle at Kirlampudi that his Kapu followers would not cross the line and resort to violence.
On Sunday, agitators gathered at Tuni to attend a public meeting addressed by Padmanabham, pelted stones and also attacked police personnel, before ransacking the railway station. Some bogies were also set ablaze.
“Our aim is to achieve the status of backward classes and get Rs 1,000 crore per year for the welfare of the Kapu community. There is no reason to be violent. But the Telugu Desam government had imposed several restrictions on the Kapu Garjana meeting. There was no drinking water or buses. This forced us to block roads and rail lines,” he said, alleging the TDP government tried to suppress his agitation by creating obstacles to the public meeting.
Threatening to launch a fast-unto-death unless the government issues an order in favour of the community, Mudragada said, “...I will continue the indefinite fast even if I am put in jail. The government is conspiring to create a terrible atmosphere and defame the Kapu community.”
"Is this state their estate?" he asked.
He also challenged the police to arrest him if they wanted to stop him from fasting. “Nobody will create hurdles if I am arrested. I will not take any bail. I will continue the fast in jail. My wife will continue the agitation in our house,” he said.
Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister (Home) N Chinna Rajappa and Municipal Administration Minister P Narayana condemned Padmnabham's comments.
The government allowed buses for the public meeting yesterday, Chinna Rajappa said.
Alleging that Padmanabham incited people in the public meeting, they both held him responsible for the violence.
Though the Congress government led by K Vijayabhaskar Reddy in 1990s issued orders providing reservation to Kapus, the orders were not clear, Chinna Rajappa said.
Noting that Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu was committed to provide quota to the community as promised by the TDP, they said the government had constituted a commission to go into the issue.
At least 15 policemen, including a senior district police officer, were injured yesterday when a stir by Kapu community members seeking reservation under Backward Class category turned violent as the agitators went on rampage, set four coaches of Ratnachal Express on fire at the Tuni station and blocked the National Highway-16 in East Godavari district. No passenger was injured in the incident as they had got off the train before it was set on fire.
The protesters withdrew the blockade on the national highway, connecting Kolkata and Chennai, late last night....