Chittoor (Andhra Pradesh): At least 20 police personnel and several supporters of TDP as well as the ruling YSRCP were injured in stone pelting and arson during N Chandrababu Naidu’s tour of the district on Friday, police said.
Thirteen of the policemen were severely injured and are undergoing treatment at Chittoor town government hospital.
“The rest of the policemen (seven) are doing fine but were injured by the stones hurled at them. The situation is under control now and I think we don’t need to go for (imposing prohibitory orders under) CrPc 144 Section as of now,” Chittoor district superintendent of police Y Rishant Reddy told PTI late in the night.
Several supporters of Naidu’s TDP as well as ruling YSRCP were also injured, police said.
Naidu is on a ‘Yudha Bheri’ tour to highlight the failure of the Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy government in completing irrigation projects in various districts that were started by him when he was the chief minister. ‘Yudha Bheri’ is a 2,500-km tour from Nandikotkur to Pathapatnam.
Police have started registering cases, though no one has been arrested yet.
According to the SP, the altercation started following alleged derogatory remarks by Naidu while addressing a rally at Mulakalacheruvu in Annamayya district as part of his ‘Yudha Bheri’ tour, where he called Thamballapalle MLA Peddireddi Dwarakanatha Reddy a “Ravan”.
Reacting to these remarks, the ruling party supporters blocked the way to Angallu in Chittoor where Naidu was heading. This allegedly led to stone pelting by TDP cadres, in which several supporters from either side were injured, said Reddy.
“The incident of fierce stone pelting was reported on the way to Punganur where over 20 police personnel were attacked, including the DSP,” he said.
Amid this riot-like situation, police resorted to lathicharge and dispersed the crowd, said the official.
Anticipating further law and order problems at Naidu’s next rally scheduled at Punganur, police barricaded the town’s entrance and diverted the roadshow via bypass road.
TDP cadres waiting for Naidu’s arrival there allegedly attacked the police and burnt a bus and a vajra vehicle (water cannon). Police fired teargas shells to disperse the agitators, Reddy said.
Meanwhile, Naidu condemned the alleged attacks of YSRCP leaders on TDP activists.
He visited the lift irrigation works of Nayani lake in Annamayya district today and later addressed the gathering and expressed concern over the alleged atrocities of the local legislator.
“The state will remain in peace only if such persons are sent to jail. If you come with a stick, we will face you with several sticks,” Naidu said.
There were some YSRCP workers at that meeting, waving black flags, which prompted Naidu to tell them that no power on earth could threaten him.
However, when the TDP leader was proceeding towards Angallu village, some YSRCP supporters allegedly tried to attack those who were present there, injuring them. Naidu then warned the ruling party leaders of serious consequences if such violence continues.
Later, Naidu asserted that he is a son of Chittoor soil and challenged YSRCP leaders to face him as he is ready to come to Punganur.