Special Correspondent

Party leaders outwit police

Police seal all entry points to Chinaganjam

It’s an unarmed guerrilla war, says Narayana

ONGOLE : For CPI leaders, it was a red-letter day on Wednesday when they tasted success in organising a movement with the support of the people at Chinnaganjam in Prakasam district.

As people of 11 villages surrounding Chinnaganjam vociferously protested against the lease of 560 acres to Snow White company for salt production, the CPI could easily make the agitation successful.

The CPI called for silent protest from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to demand the Government cancel the lease and distribute the land among poor.

It planned to stage the protest near the pylon constructed in memory of two persons killed in police firing while agitating against the lease in 2000.

Court directive

The High Court, however, held the lease as lawful and directed the district administration to provide protection to Snow White company to enjoy its lease peacefully. In view of the agitation, acting on a petition, the Court directed the District Collector and Superintendent of Police to prevent anybody from trespassing into the leased land.

So police made elaborate bundobust to thwart the agitation. They feared that it would be difficult to prevent trespassing if large number of people congregated near the pylon abutting the leased land.

Police sealed all roads leading to Chinnaganjam and arrested important CPI leaders in the district last night. Police were posted at Ongole, Chirala and Chinnaganjam railway stations to arrest Mr Narayana.

To outwit the police, Mr Narayana and other CPI leaders, coming from Khammam to Chirala by train, got down at Bapatla.

After taking breakfast at a relatives house, they reached Vodarevu by car. They took a boat to travel by sea to Chinnaganjam giving a slip to the police posted all along the coast in the district. They entered Romperu drain and arrived at Chinnaganjam to a tumultuous welcome by local people. Police, who were armed with nothing but sticks and teargas shells, could not lay hands on them.

They marched over 10 km fighting with the police all the way to reach the pylon.

It was an unarmed guerrilla war, remarked a jubilant Narayana. As police did not allow anybody to enter the village from outside, it was left entirely to the local people to make the agitation successful.

They refuted the contention of the district administration that the demand was raised more by outsiders than locals.