With the Andhra Pradesh police foiling his 'Chalo Atmakur' protest rally, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief Chandrababu Naidu on Wednesday decided to launch a 12-hour fast at his residence. The former Chief Minister started his fast from 8 am and plans to continue it till 8 pm.
Naidu and his son Nara Lokesh were placed under house arrest by the police to prevent them from leading a protest march over the alleged attacks on TDP cadres by the ruling YSRCP. The TDP has alleged that eight of its workers have been killed in multiple attacks by YSRCP leaders, most of them in Palnadu region. It claimed that 500 TDP activists and sympathisers were attacked since the announcement of election results in May this year.
On Wednesday, the police did not allow Naidu to come out of his house in Amaravati’s Undavalli, as he was about to leave for the rally. Nara Lokesh was also seen arguing with the police personnel deployed outside their residence, demanding the documents on the basis of which they were being detained.
On Tuesday, the Director General of Police (DGP), Gautam Sawang, had said there was no permission for meetings, processions, rallies or protests in Palnadu region as Section 144 (prohibition on assembly of more than four persons in an area) of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and Section 30 (regulation of public assemblies and processions) of Police Act were in force.
Since Tuesday, the police have also clamped prohibitory orders in Palnadu region of Guntur district and Amaravati capital region, to prevent any showdown, as the YSRCP, too, called for a counter-protest march.
Soon after Naidu and Nara Lokesh were detained, protests broke out across the state, with TDP cadres and leaders condemning the police's decision, staging dharnas in areas across the capital region and also in the mandals of Guntur - Sattenapalle, Narasaraopeta and Gurajala. Nandigama in Krishna district also saw protests.
Foreseeing arrests, during a teleconference with party leaders on Tuesday night, Naidu asked them to protest wherever they were stopped by the administration. TDP leaders and workers heading to Naidu's house and also to Guntur were stopped at different points and arrested by the police on Wednesday morning.
Tension prevailed in Guntur town as additional police forces were deployed to foil TDP's march planned to begin from the camp set up by the party for the alleged victims of violence by the ruling party leaders.
As a counter to TDP’s protest, the ruling YSRCP on Tuesday announced that it will also conduct 'Chalo Atmakur' with victims of the attacks by TDP leaders during the last five years when YSRCP was the opposition party.
Home Minister Sucharita dubbed those at TDP camp in Guntur as "paid artists".
(This is a developing story.)
(The story was first published on The News Minute and has been republished in an arrangement.)
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