Hyderabad: Over 1,000 people have been taken into preventive custody in connection with the agitation by supporters of united Andhra Pradesh even as the protests continued for the eighth consecutive day on Wednesday, a senior police official said.
Also, 221 persons were arrested so far and as many as 124 criminal cases were registered against the protesters in Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra districts in the wake of the Samaikyandhra agitation over the past one week, under specific sections of the IPC and other Acts, Additional Director General (Law and Order) of Police VSK Kaumudi said today.
The protesters were charged with offences like damage to statues of national leaders, buses (both APSRTC and private buses) and public property, besides, rioting and assault. For the cases pertaining to damage to statues of national leaders, 39 cases have been registered and 94 accused have been arrested, the ADG said.
Damage to statues is an insult to the memory of national leaders. It is bound to provoke strong reaction and also cause animosity between different groups, the official said, adding in view of this police has invoked specific provisions of law, including section 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion, race, place of birth, etc, and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) of IPC.
Police urged the local community to co-operate with them in protecting the statues, which they themselves had installed, out of respect and affection for national leaders.
It was also noticed that certain vested interests were indulging in mudslinging against the police personnel, Kaumudi said and warned that such acts would be viewed seriously and the offenders could be liable for stringent criminal action.