Status stir: Cops foil bid to protest at Prakasam barrage

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Many political leaders were put under house arrest.

Vijayawada: Protests for Special Category Status have created tension in Vijayawada on Thursday. Protests by students and political parties demanding special status to AP were witnessed on the Republic Day. More than 120 protesters were taken into custody for staging demonstrations without permission in the city on Thursday. Despite clamping Sec. 144 of IPC and warnings by the police, protesters continued with their demonstrations. City youth who planned to stage silent protest at Prakasam Barrage apron started reaching the place from the wee hours on Thursday.

However, police obstructed them from reaching the barrage by arresting them at Lenin Centre, Kaleswara Rao market, Kanaka Durga Vaaradhi, Ramavarappadu Ring, Padmavati Ghat, Dharna Chowk at Gandhi Nagar. YSRC leaders Vangaveeti Radha Krishna, K. Partha Saradhi, and others were house arrested. A group of fans, of actor-turned-politician Pawan Kalyan and Janasena leaders staged a protest at Bhavani Ghat and tried to head towards the Prakasam barrage with a slogan ‘Say no to special package- We demand special status” were arrested and taken to nearby police station.

“We haven’t given permission for any organisation for protests or precessions in the city as Sec. 144 of IPC and Police Act 30 are in force in the city. Protests and rallies are not permitted and we will take action,” said P. Hari Kumar, joint commissioner of police. CPM leader Ch. Babu Rao, Congress leader Malladi Vishnu, Potina Mahesh from Jana Sena, student leaders of All India Student Federation (AISF), Progressive Democratic Students Union (PDSU), All India Youth Federation (AIYF), National Students Union of India (NSUI) and others were arrested at Dharna Chowk near Alankar theatre.

More than 25 youth wing leaders of Jana Sena, who tried to stage a protest in front of Krishnalanka police station demanding release of Mandali Rajesh, were dispersed from the place. Rajesh was arrested on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the police undertook special drives to identify and detain anti-social elements on Thursday. Special category status agitators were stopped on entering the city at the special check points set up on the city outskirts. Special checks were done at toll gates on the national highway in the district and protesters heading towards Visakh-apatnam were taken into custody.

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