Won't allow Kapu leader Mudragada Padmanabham's upcoming padyatra, says Andhra DGP

The Andhra Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) N Sambasiva Rao said on Saturday that Kapu leader Mudragada Padmanabham would not get permission for his proposed padyatra on July 26.

The top police official said that the decision was taken, keeping in consideration the events that unfolded last time. 

"Nobody has applied for police permission for the padayatra so far. During the previous padayatra, many violent incidents took place. Our duty is to maintain law and order, and no permission will be given to Mr. Padmanabham’s padayatra also,” the DGP told the media in Vijayawada.

He was referring to the incident in January 2016, when a mob in Tuni in East Godavari district set a train on fire, after a meeting called by Padmanabham turned violent. 

The Kapus were protesting for reservation in the state, which was Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu's key poll promises.

The DGP also told the media that around 250 people involved in the incident were arrested and around 60 cases had been registered. 

This comes days after the Kapu leader said that he would undertake the ‘Chalo Amaravati Padayatra’ at any cost.

Speaking to mediapersons, he lashed out at the TDP government for failing to fulfil its election promise of according to a BC status to Kapus. 

"Naidu is dilly-dallying on the issue of provision of BC reservation to Kapus. The Chief Minister seems to be not really committed to fulfilment of his election promise," he was quoted as saying.

Last month, Padmanabham, who is also a former Andhra Minister, visited Garagaparru village and interacted with Dalits in the area, after they had faced an alleged social boycott for close to two months. 

The Dalits had alleged that they had been ostracised by some upper caste men, after they proposed to install a statue of Dr BR Ambedkar in the heart of the village.

After interacting with locals, Mudragada traveled to the residence of former Andhra MP GV Harsha Kumar in Rajamahendravaram. Kumar had begun a hunger strike to demand the arrest of the accused in the same case.

"Dr. Ambedkar does not belong to one caste. I erected his statue in my house and gave order for making Damodaram Sanjeevaiah’s statue to be installed next to it. What is wrong in installing [it] in the middle of the village?” Padmanabham asked.

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