Jagan detained at Vizag Airport; hundreds held to foil AP Special Status stir

Visakhapatnam:  YSR Congress Party president and Opposition Leader in the AP Legislative Assembly,  YS Jagan Mohan Reddy was  prevented from leaving the airport when he arrived here on Thursday, to take part in the Andhra Yuvatha Mauna Deeksha candle rally,  demanding Special Category Status for the State.

Jagan, accompanied by the party senior leader, Rajya Sabha Member V. Vijayasai Reddy, YV Subba Reddy, Ambati Rambabu and others, staged a sit-in protesting the police action. He was not allowed to move even a step after alighting from a SpiceJet flight in which he flew from Hyderabad in the afternoon.

The situation in Visakhaptnam city turned volatile after the Opposition leader was not allowed to leave the airport.  Crowds started swelling at the RK Beach in the city where people were trying to take out a candle light rally in response to a social media call demanding Special Status.

Earlier in the day, police arrested scores of protesters near RK Beach when they were trying to enter from different entry points. Popular parody actor Sampoornesh Babu, producer-director Tammareddy Bharadwaja and dozens of youths and women were taken into custody to prevent them from participating in the Mauna Deeksha candle protest.     

‘Emergency-like situation’

Before leaving for Vizag, Jagan unfurled the national flag at his Lotus Pond party office in Hyderabad. He said  the protesters, who want to hold a candle light rally at RK Beach in Visakhapatnam were feeling whether they were still living under the British rule. The people were only demanding that the TDP government and the Union government implement what has been assured on the floor of the Lok Sabha, he said, adding that his party leaders were being arrested across the State to foil the Vizag protest.

He charged Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu with “trampling” democracy and creating Emergency-like situation in the residuary State of Andhra Pradesh. Alleging that Chandrababu Naidu was mortgaging the interests of the State to protect his interests, Jagan Mohan Reddy accused Chandrababu Naidu of blatantly engineering defections and showing utter disregard for democratic values and principles. He also said the SCs, STs and BCs in the capital area were being given a raw deal.

Meanwhile, the measures taken by the government to suppress  the agitation by the  Andhra Yuvatha Mauna Deeksha came in for  criticism  from  many quarters. Lok Satta chief Jayaprakash Narayan condemned the repression unleashed on a peaceful agitation. Congress, Left parties and Jana Sena chief   Pawan Kalyan also extended support to the agitation. Congress staged a dharna at the GVMC Gandhi statue.  Section 144 and 30 have been imposed in the city to thwart the agitation. — NSS

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