Andhra Pradesh

Kapu leader Mudragada Padmanabham kept under house arrest

A file photo of Kapu leader Mudragada Padmanabham (centre).   | Photo Credit: K.V.S. Giri

Kapu leader Mudragada Padmanabham, who was about to start a “Chalo Amaravati” padayatra from his residence demanding quota for the Kapu community in government jobs, was kept under house arrest by the police in Kirlampudi on Wednesday.

Officer on Special Duty (OSD) Ravisankar served notice to Mr. Padmanabham and stopped him and others from undertaking the padayatra from his residence. Mr. Padmanabham asked the police officials to explain the reason behind his house arrest and argued why he was being stopped from taking out the padyatra as there were no cases against him and that it was only a Gandhian method of protest.

The OSD clarified that there was no permission for the padayatra and that he was being confined to his house as they were anticipating law and order problem and untoward incidents. Later, the Kapu leader made it clear that he will take out the padayatra until the “police suppression ends” and until then the Kapu community will resort to indefinite strike in all villages throughout the State. In response to his call, Kapu community people held protest rallies in several villages in East Godavari district.

The Kapu leader told the OSD and other police officials that his latest agitation was a "final showdown" of the Kapu community to settle the issue forever. He dared the police to arrest him and called upon Kapus from villages in East Godavari to come to Kirlampudi everyday between 9 and 10 a.m. by walk and express their solidarity.

He alleged that the State government was deceiving Kapus for the last four years by not including them into the Backward Class and described the Chief Minister as a person who had failed to honour his election promise of extending reservations to the Kapu community. Why is the Chief Minister not calling the Kapu leaders for talks, he asked, adding that “Former Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy had even called the Naxalites for talks and so did the governments in North India when there were agitations for quota.”

East Godavari district Superintendent of Police, who reached Kirlampudi, spoke to the media informally and said that the situation was being reviewed on an hour-to-hour basis and as Section 144 was in force, they would not allow anyone, including media, into Mr. Padmanabham’s house. Stringent action would be taken if any one violateed the prohibitory orders and takes out rallies, he added.

Apart from Mr. Padmanabham, other Kapu leaders too were kept under house arrest in East and West Godavari districts from Wednesday morning. In Rajamahendravaram, YSRCP leader and former MLC Kandula Durgesh and party leaders Jakkampudi Vijayalakshmi, Akula Veerraju and Girijala Babu were confined to their houses. Kapu leaders Kalvakolanu Tataji, Nalla Vishnu in Amalapuram and Gandepalli Babi in Pitapuram were also confined to their houses.

In Krishna and Guntur districts, the police maintained tight security. Police threw a security blanket in and around the capital region in Amaravati to prevent any untoward incidents in view of the padayatra call given by the Kapu leader.

DIGs and SPs of Krishna and Guntur districts reviewed the security arrangements on the borders of the districts leading to the Secretariat and to East and West Godavari districts. Police checked vehicles on the national highways and at bus and railway stations.

Anticipating trouble, many leaders were kept under house arrest by the police and additional forces were deployed at their houses. Heavy bandobust was arranged at police stations and all the main roads.

“Police pickets were arranged on Krishna-West Godavari and Krishna-Guntur districts. We are checking all the private vehicles, buses and transport vehicles at toll gates and on district borders. Keeping in view of arson at Tuni railway station last year, security was beefed up at railway stations,” a police officer said.

Vijayawada Police Commissioner D. Gautam Sawang, Krishna district Superintendent of Police Sarvasreshta Tripathi and other officials organised meetings and are monitoring the situation.

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Printable version | Oct 19, 2021 4:01:22 PM |

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