Women 'roughed up' for stir over AP capital issue

Police in action against farmers from the capital region villages, who were staging a protest to press for keeping the capital in Amaravati. (PTI Photo)

Mandadam village in Amaravati region was tense on Friday after police allegedly dragged women and whisked them away in vehicles for squatting on the road as part of a protest against Andhra Pradesh government's move to shift the state capital.

The women later lodged a complaint alleging misbehaviour and manhandling by the police.

Infuriated villagers of the region have now given a call for an indefinite bandh across the 29 villages to intensify their agitation.

The sub-divisional police officer Chakravarthy, however, denied any excesses by his men and said they only tried to evict those who squatted on the road.

Some people might have suffered injuries, he said.

Villagers alleged that several women and men, who tried to prevent the police action, sustained injuries in the incident.

The Rajadhanani Parirakshana Samiti (capital protection committee) on Thursday gave a call for the general strike in all the 29 villages in Amaravati region against the move to relocate the capital from here.

In Mandadam, the villagers forced the closure of the local zilla parishad high school and later insisted on closure of banks.

Later, the women, who have been spearheading the agitation in the village, sat on the main road for a dharna.

Police, present in full strength, tried to prevent the protest and started evicting the women.

This led to a scuffle as women, joined by men, tried to prevent the eviction.

Villagers alleged that one particular sub-inspector deployed from a neighbouring police unit sought to provoke the peaceful protestors by allegedly making disparaging remarks.

As the villagers in unison raised a voice of protest against the officer, police dragged women into their vehicles and took them away.

Meanwhile, villagers at Malkapuram that leads to the state Secretariat polished police boots as a mark of protest.

At Uddandarayunipalem, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi had laid the foundation stone for building Amaravati, farmers sat on a 'deeksha'.

Former legislator T Sravan Kumar visited the farmers and extended solidarity with them.

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