Andhra Pradesh | Updated Jan 25, 2012 at 11:54am IST
Clashes over damage to Ambedkar statues
indianexpress Express News Service , The New Indian Express
AMALAPURAM: Section 144, prohibiting assembly of more than five
persons, has been imposed on the town for three days following
repeated clashes between two groups over damage of the statues of BR
Ambedkar in the town and its surrounding villages by some miscreants
on Sunday night.
Tension has gripped the town ever since the destruction of statues
which invited widespread protests across the state.
Minister J Geeta Reddy, N Raghuveera Reddy and several others took up
the issue with chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy who held a meeting
with home minister P Sabita Reddy, DGP V Dinesh Reddy and other senior
Additional DGP Krishna Raju will supervise the investigation to be
conducted by special teams into the incident and also bandobust in the
The chief minister directed the officials to reinstall the statues of
Dr BR Ambedkar at government's expense, while the home minister
assured that miscreants would not be spared.
Amalapuram MP GV Harsha Kumar and Mala Mahandu state president K
Sivaji met the chief minister and the home minister separately, and
demanded a thorough probe and severe punishment to the culprits.
Ramachandrapuram DSP Srinivasa Rao has been appointed as special
officer to probe the demolition of statues at Bandavaripeta,
Bodasakurru, Chindada Garuva, Rollapalem and Nallavantena.
Additional police forces were rushed from Krishna and West Godavari
districts to vulnerable areas in East Godavari district to prevent any
Protesters came out in large numbers onto the roads demanding that the
government identify the miscreants and punish them immediately.
Traffic was stalled for hours together on National Highway-214 and at
Nallavantena, Erravantena, Idarapalli, Clock Tower and Y-Junction.
Later, the agitators demanded that traders close their shops.
Their demand led to heated arguments between traders and agitators.
Even before the police could reach the spot, groups of two communities
pelted each other with stones and indulged in violence forcing the
traders to shut their shops.
People of both the communities are staging a dharna at the Clock Tower
Centre in Amalapuram and have refused to leave as advised by the
East Godavari superintendent of police C Trivikrama Varma rushed to
Amalapuram and reviewed the situation.
Deputy inspector-general of police (Eluru range) G Suryaprakasa Rao is
also camping in the town.
Speaking to Express, Amalapuram deputy superintendent of police
Sridhar said members of the two groups positioned themselves 100
metres apart in a surcharged atmosphere but have refrained from
attacking each other
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