'Today is a dark day for democracy'

Updated: Sep 12, 2019, 07:47 IST | Agencies

Says Chandrababu Naidu who was put under under house arrest with his son ahead of a protest in Andhra Pradesh; police later evicted victims of alleged attacks by ruling YSR Congress Party

'Today is a dark day for democracy'
TDP MLA Acham Naidu being arrested by the police outside party President N Chandrababu Naidu's residence. The leader of opposition will visit Atmakur on September 18 to take stock of the situation. Pic/PTI

Tension gripped Andhra Pradesh capital Amaravati and other parts of Guntur district on Wednesday as former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu was placed under house arrest while police evicted victims of alleged attacks by the ruling YSRCP from a TDP camp.

The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) President and his son Nara Lokesh were kept under house arrest in Amaravati while scores of party leaders and activists heading towards Guntur town for a protest march were arrested by the police. The police did not allow Naidu to come out of his house at Undavalli as he was about to leave for Guntur town to lead the 'Chalo Atamakur' stir.

'Atrocious' police action

The police later locked the main gate of Naidu's house from outside after he tried to come out in his car. Naidu, who sat in his car for half an hour, condemned the police action. "Today is a dark day for democracy," he told reporters, adding the police action is "atrocious" and "unprecedented in history".

Chandrababu Naidu
Chandrababu Naidu

"The situation is horrible. Many of our party leaders, including MPs and MLAs, have been taken into custody at various places. Several others were kept under house arrest. All this held a mirror to the nefarious mentality of the ruler (Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy)," Naidu remarked.

The TDP chief alleged that Reddy is murdering democracy by resorting to house arrest and arrests of TDP leaders who wanted to participate in a peaceful rally. Director General of Police Gautam Sawang said Naidu, who is also Leader of Opposition, was taken into preventive custody as his actions are increasing tension and creating disturbances in Palnadu region of Guntur. The police chief clarified that he was not taken into preventive custody for fighting against government policies.

Victims sent back

Tension prevailed in Guntur town as additional police forces were deployed to foil the TDP's march planned to begin from the camp set up by the party for victims of attacks by the ruling party leaders. Late Wednesday afternoon police evicted all 120 families from the camp and sent them back to their villages. The TDP alleged that its eight workers were killed in attacks by YSRCP leaders.

It claimed that 500 TDP activists and sympathisers were attacked since the announcement of election results in May. The YSRCP too had announced that it will also conduct 'Chalo Atmakur' with victims of the attacks by TDP during past five years. Home Minister Sucharita dubbed those at the TDP camp in Guntur as "paid artists".

No. of families allegedly at the camp

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