They were staging a dharna in front of Collector’s office

The police made preventive arrest of over 70 activists of the CPI(M), including its State Secretariat Committee member Midiyam Babu Rao, after resorting to mild lathicharge at the Collectorate on Tuesday.

As part of the party’s State-wide agitation, the activists sat on dharna in front of the Collectorate for the second consecutive day on Tuesday demanding that the government regulate spiralling prices of essential commodities, withdraw cap on supply of LPG cylinders on subsidy, rollback the decision of direct cash transfer in the PDS, besides addressing other local problems.

Heavy police deployment was made at the Collectorate, as the party activists from various parts of the district joined the agitation.

Cotton farmers from Gollaprolu brought damaged crop in gunnysacks and emptied them on the road in front of the Collectorate.

They accused the officials of failing to provide cyclone relief, even as their standing crop was completely destroyed in the Nilam cyclone.

The police took objection to the act of the farmers and entered into a wordy duel. Even as the argument was going on, a few activists tried to scale the closed gates of the Collectorate, irking the police.

As the wordy duel turned into frisking of the policemen, the police resorted to caning. Police vans rushed to the spot and all the activists were taken to police stations. They were kept at the III-Town and Port police stations, where cases were registered against them.

Terming the police action as an undemocratic move, the party activists demanded that the cases be withdrawn immediately.

‘Anti-people policies’

CPI (M) district secretary M. Krishna Murty and former MLA K. Lakshmana Murty were among 131 arrested for picketing the Collector’s Office and paralysing work.

Following a call given by the party’s State committee, the district unit picketed the Collector’s Office from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at all the three entrance and exit gates, in protest against FDI in retail market, imposing surcharge on power consumers, limiting supply of LPG on subsidy, and other “anti-people” policies of the government. They did not allow the government employees to enter the premises. Police deployed in good number made no attempt to disperse the agitating leaders and cadres till lunch hour.

At 1 p.m., the agitating leaders were arrested along with a number of cadres and later released on personal surety.

The party had launched a weeklong “poru baata” on December 3 to create awareness on these issues and to mobilise people for picketing.

  • Police make preventive arrest of over 70 activists in Kakinada, 131 in Vizianagaram

  • Farmers from Gollaprolu bring damaged cotton in gunnysacks and empty it in front of Collectorate