Violent Protests, Arson in Andhra's Amalapuram Against Renaming District After Ambedkar

Ruling YSRCP MLA from Mummidivaram P. Satish's house, furniture outside state transport minister P. Viswarup's house, a police vehicle and a bus of an educational institute were set on fire.
May 24, 2022 | The Wire Staff

New Delhi: The decision of the Andhra Pradesh government to rename the newly craved out Konaseema district after B.R. Ambedkar resulted in violent protests in Amalapuram town on Tuesday, May 24, injuring several protestors and policemen.

Ruling YSRCP MLA from Mummidivaram P. Satish’s house, furniture outside state transport minister P. Viswarup’s house, a police vehicle and a bus of an educational institute were set on fire. The protestors resorted to stone-pelting, injuring several policemen.

“It is unfortunate that over 20 police personnel sustained injuries in the incident. We will conduct a thorough investigation into the incident and bring the culprits to book,” the state home minister Taneti Vanitha said, according to NDTV.

Vanitha also blamed “some political parties and anti-social elements” for the violence. The violent protest was spearheaded by Konaseema Sadhana Samithi (KSS), whose members issued a call for a ‘Chalo Konaseema’ march.

According to The Hindu, Konaseema SP K.S.S.V. Subba Reddy said, “We do not know the exact number of personnel injured in the clash. The clash was a result of an online campaign launched by different sections of people and groups on the proposal to rename the district.”

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On Tuesday afternoon, a group of protesters attempted to proceed towards the District Collectorate in Amalapuram via the Clock Tower area in the town from different directions. Police initially prevented them. Then, the enraged protestors began pelting stones aiming at police vehicles. Amalapuram DSP Y. Madhava Reddy reportedly fell unconscious during the clash, The Hindu reported.

“The situation was brought under control by 5 pm. We are focusing on providing medical aid to those injured in the clash,” added Subba Reddy. However, tension continues to prevail across the Konaseema district.

Sensing trouble, the administration had imposed Section 144 in the district last week after a few organisations issued calls to carry out protests over the renaming of the district. The state government had issued a preliminary notification seeking to rename Konaseema as B.R. Ambedkar Konaseema district and invited objections, if any, from the people.

On April 4, the new Konaseema district was carved out of the erstwhile East Godavari.

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