Andhra BJP chief stopped on way to violence-hit Amalapuram

Andhra Pradesh Police on Wednesday stopped state BJP chief Somu Veerraju from visiting Amalapuram, which recently witnessed violence over renaming of Konaseema district as Dr B. R. Ambedkar Konaseema district.

The BJP leader, accompanied by his supporters, wanted to call on the victims of violence and also those against whom cases were booked.

The police, however, stopped his convoy near Jonnada in East Godavari district. Police blocked the road with a vehicle to stop the BJP leader’s vehicle from moving ahead. This led to a heated argument between the BJP leader and police officers. Veerraju insisted that police remove the vehicle and allow him to proceed.

Since prohibitory orders under section 144 of CrPC are still in force in Amalapuram, he can’t be allowed to visit the town, he was told. Tension continued for half-an-hour.

The BJP leader subsequently requested the police officers to allow him to speak to district SP over phone. Later, the police allowed him to visit Ravulapelm town to meet a party leader.

Amalapuram was rocked by violence on May 24 against the proposal to rename Konaseema district as Dr B. R. Ambedkar district.

During the large-scale violence that broke during a protest called by Konaseema Parirakshana Samiti, residences of a state minister and a MLA were set afire and dozens of people including police personnel were injured.

With the Dalit Hakkula Porata Samithi (DHPS) reportedly deciding to protest in favour of the proposal, prohibitory orders continued in the town. There is no permission for any public meeting or rally in the town.

The Konaseema district was carved out from East Godavari with Amalapuram as its headquarters.

It was one of the 13 districts created on April 4, taking the total number of districts in the state to 26.

The state government on May 18 issued a notification inviting objections and suggestions on the proposal to rename the Konaseema district after Dr Ambedkar. It sought suggestions and objections from the people residing within Konaseema.

People have been urged to send objections and suggestions, if any, to Konaseema district collector within 30 days.

However, some people from two dominant castes in the district — Kapus and Setti Balijas-came together to oppose the renaming. According to police, the coming together of these communities intensified the protests against the renaming of the district as more people participated in the agitation.




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