VIJAYAWADA: Protesters against relocation of the capital from Amaravati staged a flash rally at Mandalam on Saturday, taking the police by surprise. As the agitating farmers came on to the road shouting slogans “Jai Amaravati, Save AP and CM down down,” security forces lathi-charged mildly. Two women were reportedly injured, with one of them hospitalised for fracturing her leg.
Earlier, police contingents conducted a flag march in Velagapudi, Mandadam and adjoining areas, while announcing restrictions under Section 144. Police denied permission to pro-Amaravati farmers to erect tents on the road at Velagapudi for conducting a protest. As permission was denied, agitators started their protest inside a private building.
Protestors continued their agitation inside the private premises even as police used a drone to film them.
Noted Telugu film producer Chalasani Aswini Dutt and other cine personalities visited Mandadam to express their solidarity.
Meanwhile, police blocked access to Karkatta road leading to the residence of Telugu Desam supremo N. Chandrababu Naidu. They also did not allow Naidu’s son Lokesh to move out and join the protestors in Amaravati. TD leaders and cadres, who tried to flock at their party chief’s residence, were dispersed off.
Telugu Desam leaders and protesting farmers claimed restrictions under Cr. P. C. 144 and section 30 could not be imposed as per the latest verdict of the Supreme Court. However, Thullur DSP Srinivas Reddy maintained that the SC verdict was limited to Jammu and Kashmir and they had received no such orders. Thus, restrictions under Cr. P. C. 144 and section 30 of Police Act would remain in force at Amaravati.
Women TD leaders Divya Vani and Vangalapudi Anitha condemned police for attacking women protestors who were peacefully demonstrating in Amaravati on Saturday.