Officials defend encroachment exercise
ANANTAPUR: Municipal Chairperson of Tadipatri E.C. Venkataramana and Vice-Chairperson J.C. Prabhakar Reddy blamed TDP leader H. Fayaz Basha for the violence erupted during an encroachment removal in the town on Thursday.
They explained to mediapersons that the removal of premises constructed around the grave of a saint of a particular community was taken up only after taking the consent of religious leaders of the community and with an assurance to remodel it with Rs. 5 lakhs by the civic body.
But, a section of the community backed by the TDP leader had hatched a plan to cause violence, they alleged. Officials had planned the encroachment removal only for the development of the town and they had nothing against the community. In fact, the community and the Congress party had mutual trust, they claimed.
The structure constructed around the place of worship was causing major obstruction in the free movement of vehicular traffic, they stated.
However, Mr. Fayaz Basha refuted the charges and blamed the Congress leaders for hurting the sentiments of the community. He alleged that followers of Mr. Prabhakar Reddy had hurled bombs on a procession of the community taken out in protest against the demolition.
Minister effigy burnt
Meanwhile, TDP leaders burnt an effigy of Panchayat Raj Minister J.C. Diwakar Reddy in Tadipatri and Anantapur in protest against the demolition. They also staged a rasta roko in Anantapur. Mr. Diwakar Reddy was in Tadipatri but he was unavailable for the media.
A delegation of the CPI led by M.V. Ramana and C. Jaffer visited Tadipatri and felt that the situation was ought to have been handled with care. Former MLA K. Ramakrishna urged all concerned to observe restraint.