Andhra Pradesh

Tension at border as fishermen try to enter A.P. from Karnataka

Fishermen from north Andhra standing in a queue at Nangili on Friday.

Fishermen from north Andhra standing in a queue at Nangili on Friday.  

Heavy police force deployed to prevent any untoward incident

Tension prevailed on the Chittoor-Karnataka border on Friday when the entry of about 1,500 fishermen of Andhra Pradesh, who were working in the coastal belt of Karnataka, was denied.

The fishermen, mostly hailing from north Andhra Pradesh, engaged a fleet of private vehicles to reach the border in the wake of the lockdown announced to contain COVID-19.

The Palamaner sub-division police said that the first batch of fishermen arrived at the border town of Nangili (in Karnataka), 15-km from Palamaner in Chittoor district, in the morning. The police at the border check-post prevented them from entering the Chittoor district. By afternoon, a large number of vehicles reached the check-post. The huge turnout of fishermen prompted the Chittoor police to deploy heavy contingent of forces to block their way into the district.

Superintendent of Police S. Senthil Kumar, along with senior district officials, rushed to the spot to control the mob frenzy. The police made the fishermen stand in a queue maintaining social distancing and cover their faces with masks and handkerchiefs.

A senior police officer said that the SP, along with the district officials, was camping at Nangili. Considering the huge number of fishermen, heavy police force was deployed to cordon them and prevent any untoward incident.

Screening test

He said the A.P. higher officials had initiated talks with their counterparts in Kolar district of Karnataka to arrange temporary shelters and food for the fishermen, apart from arranging their screening for COVID-19.

In view of the development, the Chittoor police intensified surveillance at all the border check-posts with Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. The matter was taken to the notice of DGP Gowtham Sawang and Anantapur range police officials as well.

‘Quarantine them’

A.P. Fisherfolk Foundation chief executive A. Dasu from Vishakapatnam told The Hindu that in view of the lockdown, the fishermen who came from Karnataka should be quarantined and allowed to stay at a relief camp in Chittoor.

“A majority of them hail from the North Andhra region. They should be permitted to move from Chittoor to their native places once the situation improves,” he said.

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Printable version | Jun 2, 2020 3:01:00 PM |

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