Staff Reporter

Tension in Anantapur as police foil attempt to take out peace rally to SKU; Government Whip suffers mild heart attack

VIJAYAWADA: Police broke the indefinite fast of TDP MLA Devineni Umamaheswara Rao and another leader, Bonda Umamaheswara Rao, on Thursday by forcibly shifting them from the hunger strike camp on Bandar road to the Government General Hospital, leading to a spontaneous bandh and protests in the city.

Devineni Umamaheswara Rao, despite the deterioration in his health condition, continued his indefinite fast from his hospital bed.

Action ineffective

The TDP leaders’ strategies to foil the police action proved ineffective when the 70-strong police team comprising two platoons of Armed Reserve force led by Deputy Commissioner of Police G. Vijaya Kumar broke open the grilled door of Panchayat Raj guesthouse in which the fasting leaders locked themselves up since morning and took them away.

Amid dramatic developments and angry protests, the Joint Action Committee of all political parties enforced a bandh in the city immediately, with their activists going around ensuring that shops and edcational institutions downed their shutters. It later called for a 48-hour bandh in Krishna district from 6 a.m. on Friday. Police Commissioner K.V. Rajendranath Reddy told reporters that the police were left with no option but to arrest the MLA, as medical reports stated that his health condition was deteriorating. “Following the doctors’ advice we arrested the MLA this morning,” he said.

Mr. Reddy insisted that law and order was “completely under control” in the city and he was closely monitoring all the developments.

Expressing solidarity

ANANTAPUR: Tension prevailed in the town when police foiled the attempt of people’s organisations to take out a peace rally to Sri Krishna Devaraya University to express solidarity with the students agitating for integrated State.

Volunteers participating in the rally were upset when the police advised them against such a move, fearing violence.

Government whip S. Sailajanath who was among those leading the rally too was pushed around and swooned following a mild heart attack. He was rushed to a private hospital where his condition was described as stable. Congress leader Vishveswar Reddy and others were arrested.

But Uravakonda MLA Payyavula Keshav and TD Polit Bureau member Kalava Sreenivas managed to enter the SKU campus in the wee hours of Thursday and spent the day with the agitating students.

The indefinite fast by Telugu Desam MLAs B. K. Parthasaradhy, Paritala Sunitha and Palle Raghunath Reddy at the busy Tower Clock entered fourth day on Thursday.

At Dharmavaram, local MLA Venkatrama Reddy’s fast in support of united State entered the second day. In a novel protest about 40 integration activists tonsured their heads demanding a revised announcement from the Centre. In Guntakal, Tadipatri, Kalyandurg and Hindupur there were protest rallies and hunger strikes.