Fishermen see a conspiracy to weaken their campaign

Seek probe into attack by tribal people; vow to continue stir for ST status

Published - February 07, 2018 12:28 am IST - Srikakulam

 YSRCP leaders Dharmana Prasada Rao and K. Parthasarathy at the fishermen dharna camp on Tuesday.

YSRCP leaders Dharmana Prasada Rao and K. Parthasarathy at the fishermen dharna camp on Tuesday.

The Matsyakara ST Sadhana Samiti, a fishermen association, has asked the government to order a probe into the attack on their camp on Monday by the tribal people.

Condemning the forcible removal of their camp and physical assault, members of the samiti resumed the relay hunger strike and staged a protest at the Collector’s office on Tuesday. Suspecting the involvement of anti-social elements, samiti leaders V. Phalguna Raju and Chintapalli Suryanarayana saw a conspiracy behind the incident saying that the police remained silent in spite of the attack in their presence.

“The tribal people would never indulge in unlawful activities. But violence erupted in the presence of the police. It is an attempt to weaken the agitation of the fishermen for ST status,” said Mr. Phalguna Raju. “We will also show our strength by mobilising people from all the coastal mandals of the district. The hunger strike will continue till the government fulfils its electoral promise of including the fishermen in the ST category,” said Mr. Suryanarayana.

YRSCP decries attack

Former Ministers K. Parthasarathy and Dharmana Prasada Rao, and other YSRCP leaders visited the camp and condemned the attack on the fishermen. They alleged that the government was adopting a divide-and-rule policy to derive political mileage.

“Why did the government allow the tribal people up to the Collector’s office, where the fishermen are already protesting? Didn’t the officials anticipate a showdown? It is only to frighten the fishermen,” Mr. Prasada Rao alleged.

Former Minister and TDP leader Gunda Appala Suryanarayana too condemned the attack.

Meanwhile, the police filed FIR against 110 tribals. Cases were registered against four leaders, D. Venkata Rao, V. Madhava Rao, Bhairi Kurma Rao, and V. Yogi.

SP C.M. Trivikram Varma reportedly had a meeting with DSPs V. Bhima Rao and Ch. Penta Rao, and ordered an internal inquiry into the incident.

Heavy police force was deployed at the Collector’s office on Tuesday.

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