Police shift Municipal Chairman and YSRCP MLA out of Tadipatri as election violence continues

The pre-dawn operation witnesses a mild lathi-charge by the police at the houses of both leaders; three supporters of Prabhakar Reddy sustain injuries

Updated - May 16, 2024 07:17 am IST

Published - May 15, 2024 06:55 pm IST - TADIPATRI (Anantapur District)

A curfew-like situation in the Om Shanti Nagar locality in Tadipatri town after the TDP and YSRCP cadres pelted stones at each other on May 13, the polling day.

A curfew-like situation in the Om Shanti Nagar locality in Tadipatri town after the TDP and YSRCP cadres pelted stones at each other on May 13, the polling day. | Photo Credit: File photo

High tension gripped Tadipatri in Anantapur district on May 15 (Wednesday) after the police swooped on the houses of Municipal Chairman and TDP leader J.C. Prabhakar Reddy and YSRCP MLA Kethireddy Peddareddy in the early hours and shifted the leaders out the town.

According to the police, the operation was conducted to restore normalcy in the town that witnessed the supporters of both leaders resorting to violence since May 13 (Tuesday), the polling day.

The pre-dawn operation on May 14 witnessed a mild lathi-charge at the residences of both leaders in which two supporters of Mr. Prabhakar Reddy were injured. Another youth, identified as Kiran Kumar, a supporter of Mr. Prabhakar Reddy’s family, received critical injuries when a batch of unidentified persons, reportedly the supporters of the YSRCP MLA, attacked him with sticks and knives. He was rushed to the government district headquarters hospital in Anantapur.

A posse of 500 security personnel including those from the CRPF were deployed at all arterial junctions of Tadipatri. Special parties were posted at the residences of both leaders. A police officer said that barricades were put up at all the entry points to the town to prevent any untoward incidents.

The decision to keep the warring leaders out of the town was taken in the wake of a violent altercation between two groups when Mr. Prabhakar Reddy and Mr. Peddareddy reached Om Shanti Nagar locality to inspect a polling booth on May 13. Heated arguments were exchanged between their supporters when both the leaders insisted on entering the booth first. The arguments soon escalated to stone-pelting by both groups in which five cars were damaged, leading to a curfew-like situation in the area and delay in the voting process.

The warring groups pelted stones at the houses of Mr. Peddareddy and Mr. Prabhakar Reddy again on May 14 (Tuesday). Sporadic incidents of violence continued and Tadipatri Circle Inspector S. Muralikrishna received a head injury in a stone-pelting incident in the evening. 

The Anantapur district police deployed special forces in Tadipatri. As the supporters of the two leaders started arriving in the town from the surrounding villages, the police decided to shift both the leaders out of Tadipatri until the normalcy was restored.

Meanwhile, Mr. Prabhakar Reddy, who was shifted to Anantapur by the police, was rushed to KIMS Hospital in Hyderabad on May 15 (Wednesday) morning after he complained of breathlessness. His supporters said that the Municipal Chairman fell sick after the police fired teargas shells at Kanaka Centre on Tuesday afternoon to quell the mob.

The teargas made Mr. Prabhakar Reddy sick, his supporters said, adding that he was diagnosed with a lung infection in the Hyderabad hospital.

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