Protests continue in Amaravati over 3 capital move


A day after the Andhra Pradesh Assembly passed two Bills to develop three state capitals, farmers continued their protest for 35th day on Tuesday, demanding that Amaravati be continued as the only capital.

A shutdown was being observed in all 29 villages in Amaravati as farmers, who had given 33,000 acres of land to build the capital, staged a sit in and set afire the copies of the Bills.

With black cloths tied to their mouth, protestors staged silent protests in the villages. Shops and educational institutions remained closed as a mark of protest on a call given by Joint Action Committee.

Condemning the police’s “high-handedness” during Monday’s ‘chalo Assembly’ protest, the farmers decided not to extend any cooperation to the police forces deployed in the villages. They did not allow the cops to sit in front of their houses and refused to give even water.

Over 50 people, including six policemen, were reported injured in the police baton charge and the clashes during the opposition sponsored march to the Assembly to protest against the three capitals move.

Hundreds of protestors had tried to march towards the Assembly to lodge their protest against the shifting of key capital functions out of Amaravati.

Meanwhile, opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader and Guntur MP Galla Jayadev, who was arrested during the protest on Monday, was released on bail on Tuesday.

The MP said they were conducting peaceful protest but the police turned violent and attacked them. Jayadev sustained baton blows.

The TDP leader said for 15 hours the police carried him from one place to the other and did not inform him whether he was being detained or arrested. “If the police can do this to an MP, what happens to the common man,” he asked.

Dramatic scenes were witnessed late Monday night when the police detained former Chief Minister and TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu and his party MLAs when they were trying to visit Mandadam village to call on the injured protestors.

TDP MP from Vijayawada, Kesineni Nani and TDP’s Andhra Pradesh unit President Kala Venkata Rao said the police acted in high-handed manner at the behest of political bosses. They asked the police if they had obtained permission from the Lok Sabha Speaker to arrest Galla Jayadev. The TDP said it would take up the issue with the Centre.

The Assembly on Monday night passed Andhra Pradesh Decentralization and Inclusive Development of All Regions Bill Aand Capital Region Development Authority Repeal Bill, paving the way for development of three capitals – Amaravati, Visakhapatnam and Kurnool.

Meanwhile, several farmers from Amaravati called on Jana Sena leader and actor Pawan Kalyan at his party office. They alleged that police carried out brutal baton charge.

Addressing them, Pawan Kalyan said the YSRCP government will have to pay a heavy price for its shifting the capital from Amaravati. He assured the farmers that the shift will be temporary as Jana Sena will ensure that Amaravati continue as the capital.

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