Amalapuram (Andhra Pradesh), Sep 18 : Andhra Pradesh Police on Friday foiled the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) ‘Chalo Amalapuram’ call, a protest against the recent Antarvedi temple chariot blaze.
“We protest Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy-led government house arresting BJP leaders and not allowing them to attend ‘Chalo Amalapuram’,” said a party official. He said the protest will happen anyhow on Friday.
Police met Andhra BJP chief Somu Veerraju, his predecessor Kanna Lakshminarayana and other senior leaders in their homes and told them not to arrive at Amalapuram.
Veerraju said the state government should introspect its position towards Antarvedi incident.
“Government is arresting Hindus who are protesting because their religious feelings have been hurt. Is it justified for the government to wash its hands off by pointing a finger at a mentally unstable man over the incident,” questioned Veerraju.
Eluru Range Deputy Inspector General of Police, K. V. Mohan Rao, advised the BJP workers and sympathisers not to arrive in Amalapuram as the police have enforced restrictions.
Rao said the department has clamped down Cr Pc Section 144 all over the Konaseema region in the district to discourage people from arriving.
He also reminded them of the prevailing coronavirus pandemic.
Police imposed the prohibitory order more than 12 hours prior to the planned protest.
At several places in East Godavari district, police set up barricades to not allow protesters to reach Amalapuram.
Many BJP leaders across the state have been restrained from proceeding towards Amalapuram.
Meanwhile, G. V. V. Satish, a local Amalapuram resident said the police department has strengthened its forces with additional policemen from Eluru and other places.
“Police imposed restrictions since 8 p.m. on Thursday. They are maintaining a strict vigil in the village, blocking off a few bridges leading to Amalapuram and securing the RDO’s office,” Satish told IANS.
Though some people managed to sneak into the village, Satish said police bundled them up into a bus and carted them away, not allowing anybody to enter the Konaseema village.
All villages surrounding Amalapuram, Upparaguptham, Gollagalli, Anathavaram, Mummidivaram, Allavaram, are also witnessing strict police vigilance and barricades.
“There are many BJP and Janasena, local ally cadres in the district, including Yalla Dorababu near Allavaram, who have been restrained by the police not to enter Amalapuram for the protest,” said Satish.
On September 5, a six-decade-old seven-tiered wooden chariot of the famous Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple at Antarvedi in East Godavari district was gutted in a fire under mysterious circumstances, leading to a spate of protests.
Reddy has handed over the chariot case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) as the local police could not crack it. AP government has also sanctioned nearly Rs one crore to build a new chariot.