24 injured in Andhra Pradesh violence, Jagan abandons tour

Twenty-four people, including eight policemen, were on Friday injured in violence that broke out during a tour of Congress MP Y S Jaganmohan to Telangana, following which he was taken into preventive custody forcing him to abandon his visit.

Hyderabad: Twenty-four people, including
eight policemen, were on Friday injured in violence that broke out
during a tour of Congress MP Y S Jaganmohan to Telangana,
following which he was taken into preventive custody forcing
him to abandon his visit.

Nine people were injured when police fired to quell
protesters while seven others were injured in clashes, police
said. Eight policemen were also hurt in the violence that
broke out in protest against his yatra.
Jaganmohan, son of late Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister
Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, had undertaken his `Odarpu Yatra` to
console people who had allegedly committed suicide or died
after hearing his father`s death in a helicopter crash last
year, despite the party leadership asking him not to do so.

He was detained at the Vangipalli railway station in
the wake of violence in Mahbubabad town in Warangal district,
the hotbed of separate Telangana agition, in protest against
his tour, police said. He was released later after which he
returned here.

Though initially it was reported that one person was
killed in the violence, Director General of Police R R Girish
Kumar said later that the youth had only fallen unconscious.
"It was presumed initially that he died but he had actually
become unconsious," he told reporters.

An inquiry has been ordered into the Mahbubabad
violence, the DGP said

A defiant Jaganmohan, however, vowed to undertake his
tour to console over 70 families at an opportune time.

"The leaders who are blocking my personal tour should
ponder if it was fair to indulge in such nefarious politics,"
an angry Jaganmohan, who is opposed to creation of a separate
Telangana, said.

Holding Jaganmohan responsible today`s violence in
Warangal district, the Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC)
called for a bandh in the region tomorrow.

37-year-old Jaganmohan, a first time MP from Kadapa, had
this morning embarked on his seven-day trip by a train from

There were mild protests en route from pro-Telangana
agitators but the Mahbubabad railway station turned out to be
the main battle ground where the pro and anti-Jagan groups

The pro-Telangana agitators vandalised the Mahbubabad
railway station and hurled stones at Congress MLA Konda
Surekha and local MLA Kavita when they were sitting inside the
waiting room to receive Jaganmohan. Kavita suffered an injury
in the stone-pelting while Surekha escaped unhurt.
Their personal security officers immediately whisked
them away to safety and opened nine rounds of fire to quell
the agitators.

Meanwhile, opposition parties in Andhra Pradesh came
down heavily on the Congress government in the state and held
it squarely responsible for the violence.

"The Congress is entirely responsible for today?s
incidents. The government failed to assess the situation and
take necessary precautionary measures to avert violence,"
Telugu Desam Party president N Chandrababu Naidu said.

Talking to newsmen on the sidelines of the party?s
three-day annual conference Mahanadu at Gandipet near here,
Chandrababu said the Congress high command failed to control
its own MPs and MLAs. "It?s the common people who are facing
trouble whenever Congress is in power," he said.

Voicing similar sentiments, TRS chief K Chandrasekar
Rao blamed the state government for the turmoil, accusing it
of failure to check Jaganmohan`s yatra.

Stating that governance in the state had gone off the
track because of the internal rumblings in the Congress, BJP
senior leader Ch Vidyasagar Rao demanded that President?s rule
be imposed in Andhra Pradesh. "A judicial inquiry should be
ordered into the Mahbubabad incidents," he demanded.

Terming the violence in Warangal district a result of
intelligence failure, CPI state secretary K Narayana said the
state government and the Congress party should take
responsibility for this.

Jaganmohan, after returning to Hyderabad, asked his
followers to observe restraint and not to resort to violence
even as reports came in from temple-town Tirupati that his
supporters had set two bogies of Padmavathi Express on fire.

"Violence is not our path. Please don?t resort to such
acts," he said in a statement on his `Sakshi` channel.

In the midst of the disturbances, the Inter-City
Express by which Jaganmohan was travelling to Mahbubabad was
detained for more than three hours at Vangipalli railway

Initially there was a bomb scare following which
railway authorities ran a pilot engine for an anti-sabotage
check on the track on the busy Hyderabad-Vijayawada sector.

As a result, many trains on the route got delayed
causing inconvenience to thousands of passengers. South
Central Railway authorities here said about 14 trains on the
route were "regulated" following the violence at Mahbubabad.

As the situation appeared to be going out of hand,
police prevailed upon the Kadapa MP to abandon his yatra and
took him into preventive custody. Two MLAs Srikanth (Congress)
and Maheshwar Reddy (PRP) were also detained by police along
with Jaganmohan.

Elsewhere in Warangal district, police arrested Telugu
Desam Party MLA E Dayakar Rao and Telangana Sadhana Samiti MLC
K Dileep Kumar who vowed to block Jaganmohan’s yatra.

Chief Minister K Rosaiah, who returned to the state
capital from Nellore after attending the marriage of a
minister’s son, was briefed by Home Minister P Sabita Reddy,
Director General of Police R R Girish Kumar and Inspector
General of Police (Intelligence) Mahender Reddy.