Violent turn to encroachment removal; police open fire in air
Mob sets earthmover on fire Congress leaders chased, stoned
TADIPATRI: Removal of encroachments taken up by the civic body as part of widening of the main road in Tadipatri town turned violent on Thursday after the issue assumed communal colours.
A violent mob went on the rampage in the town as officials tried to demolish the encroached place of worship on the main road.
The police had to open fire five rounds into the air when the situation was going out of control. Armed with a Government order to widen the Kadapa-Bellary road intersecting the industrial town to 120 feet width and supported by a court verdict in favour of the civic body, officials went to remove the encroachments with the help of an earthmover.
A large number of people of a particularly community gathered at the site near Ashok Pillar as information about the demolition spread.
They turned violent when the encroachment (a place of worship here) was removed to some extent.
The mob began pelting stones on officials and targeted a few premises like a lodge, a restaurant and a community hall owned by Congress followers.
The mob set the earthmover on fire and a few two-wheelers parked along the road.
They also broke the windshields of two buses belonging to Panchayat Raj Minister J.C. Diwakar Reddy's family. When Municipal Chairperson Venkataramana, Vice-Chairperson J.C. Prabhakar Reddy, younger brother of the Minister, and Congress leaders went to the site to pacify the mob, the mob allegedly started pelting stones on them too. They chased them to some distance.
In all, 25 persons were injured in the stone-pelting and lathicharge by the police later. The mob attacked the house of Congress councillor Nazir and ransacked it. Additional police forces were rushed from Anantapur and Chittoor. The Collector said a peace committee was formed and hoped that the issue would be resolved amicably. Meanwhile, the aggrieved community has already taken up restoration of the premises.