NBW against Chandrababu Naidu

NBW against Chandrababu Naidu

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu offers prayers at Mallikarjunaswamy Temple at Srisailam, in Kurnool, on Friday. PTI

A local court in Maharashtra issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu and 14 others in connection with a 2010 case over agitation against the Bhabali barrage on Godavari river.

The news reached Naidu while he was offering the traditional 'Silk Robes' to Lord Venkateswara at the Tirumala temple on the occasion of Brahmotsavams.

N R Ghajbiye, Judicial (First Class) Magistrate, Dharmabad, Nanded district in Maharashtra has posted the case for September 21.

The magistrate had ordered the police to arrest leaders who had protested and present them before him on that date, agency reports said.

The agitation had taken place eight years ago when Naidu was the Opposition leader in the Assembly of combined Andhra Pradesh.

Naidu, along with forty of his party MLAs, arrived at the Bhabali barrage project site and wanted to see the Babli barrage, allegedly built with an intention to divert Godavari water from Telangana.

The Maharashtra police officers guarding the barrage resorted to lathi charge and arrested all the leaders there, including Naidu. They were then detained in a local ITI college.

As Naidu refused to ask for a bail, he was then airlifted to Hyderabad by the Maharashtra administration.

The police then booked Naidu and the others under several relevant cases for obstructing public servants from delivering duty, criminal intimidation, endangering life and for violating Section 144.

The court order came after a petitioner wanted to know why an earlier warrant, issued eight months ago, was not implemented.

Reacting to the court order, Naidu's son and state IT minister, Nara Lokesh, said his father will attend the court, even as he has sought legal opinion on the issue.

"My father, along with other leaders, have fought for the rightful share of Godavari water for northern Telangana. But for their resistance, the area would have turned into a dry land," he said.

Several TDP MLAs have claimed that the Centre has instigated the Maharashtra government to initiate action against Naidu after almost eight years for political vendetta.

Besides the chief minister, state Irrigation Minister Devineni Umamaheswara Rao, Social Welfare Minister N Anandbabu and Gangula Kamalakar, now a TRS leader, were among the others booked in the case.

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