STATES

Atmakur clash: Police arrest 28, register five cases

By Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA/KURNOOL: Ruling out communal angle in the clashes between two groups at Atmakur town, Kurnool Superintendent of Police (SP) Ch Sudheer Kumar Reddy said the situation has been brought under control.

“We have arrested 28 people, including Srikanth Reddy, belonging to the two groups and at least 500 police personnel have been deployed in the town to prevent any untoward incident. Prohibitory orders were clamped under Section 144 to maintain law and order,’’ the officer said, adding that troublemakers would be dealt with severely. Five separate cases were also registered.

The SP said trouble began when a BJP leader, Budda Srikanth Reddy, objected to the construction of a place of worship at Padmavathi Nagar on Saturday. This led to a clash between Srikanth Reddy’s followers and the other group. Following the violence, Srikanth Reddy rushed to the police station to save himself with the mob in pursuit. The mob attacked his vehicle at the police stations, the SP said.

The group also set ablaze a four-wheeler and three motorcycles parked on the station premises. Police resorted to firing in the air to disperse the mob and defuse the situation. Meanwhile, in a letter to Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, BJP state president Somu Veerraju blamed the government for the incident. He said that Srikanth Reddy had gone to stop an illegal construction when hundreds of people attacked him.

“Going by the attack in which a mob of more than 100 participated, it looks like a planned one,’’ Veerraju alleged and added that the perpetrators even attacked the police station when Srikanth Reddy went inside to protect himself. BJP MP GVL Narasimha Rao, too, wrote a letter to the Chief Minister demanding action against the attackers.

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