Andhra denies permission for Maha Padyatra by Amaravati farmers


by IANS | Sat, Sep 10, 2022, 01:10 PM

Amaravati, Sep (IANS) Andhra Pradesh Police have denied permission to Amaravati farmers for 'Maha Padyatra' proposed to be launched from September 12 to demand the implementation of High Court orders for development of Amaravati as the state capital.

Director General of Police Rajendranath Reddy said the permission was not given for Maha Padyatra as there was apprehension of breach of peace during padyatra proposed from Amaravati to Arasavalli in Srikakulam district.

The orders were issued Thursday midnight. Amaravati Parirakshana Samithi (APS) general secretary Gadde Tirupati Rao received the orders.

The DGP referred to the application submitted by the APS. It had stated that 200 people will participate in the padyatra and if the numbers increased they would divide in smaller groups. The DGP wrote that the organisers themselves have no idea as to how many people will participate and in such a situation they will have no control over the turnout.

The DGP also pointed out that there was a law and order problem in Konaseema district after two groups took out rallies over the renaming of district and even the houses of a minister and a MLA were set afire. He said Srikakulam district was also witnessing clashes between two major political parties. The police chief wrote that since the padyatra is scheduled to pass through these districts, even a small incident during the march could lead to a major problem.

The DGP recalled that APS organised a padyatra last year from Amaravati to Tirumala. He said though the court had given conditional permission for the padyatra, the conditions were violated.

The DGP mentioned that during the padyatra, government officials performing their duties were attacked and they were prevented from discharging their official duties. A total of 71 criminal cases were booked against the organisers in various districts and in two cases they were sentenced.

The APS leader was also told that the regions, which form the route of the proposed Maha Padyatra, have different aspirations. Visakhapatnam, which has been declared as administrative capital, is also on the route of the long march.

The DGP passed orders hours after the High Court took up APS 'petition for hearing. It has sought direction to the DGP and SPs of 16 districts to allow Maha Padyatra. The court adjourned the hearing to Friday after the state government informed that the DGP would be passing orders on the application of APS by the end of Thursday.

Alleging that the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government was not taking any action to implement the court orders, APS decided to take out Maha Padyatra.

The padyatra with the slogan 'Build Amaravati Save Andhra Pradesh' is proposed to conclude at Arasavalli in Srikakulam district on November 11 after passing through 16 districts. It is aimed at mounting pressure on the government to complete the constructions and infrastructure creation in Amaravati as ordered by the High Court on March 3, 2022.

Last year, the farmers undertook a 45-day long padyatra from Amaravati to Tirupati. Police had imposed various restrictions during the march titled 'Nyayasthanam (High Court) to Devasthanam (Tirumala temple)'.

The APS said they decided to undertake another padyatra as the state government had not changed its mind even after the High Court had ruled that the state has no legislative competence to split, bifurcate or trifurcate the state capital. The court had ruled that Amaravati should be developed as the capital city and it laid specific timelines for the same.

A bench of three judges had pronounced the judgment on March 3 on 75 petitions filed by Amaravati farmers and others challenging the government's move for trifurcation of the state capital.

After coming to power in 2019, the YSRCP had reversed the decision of the previous TDP government to develop Amaravati as the only state capital. It decided to develop three state capitals -- Amaravati, Visakhapatnam and Kurnool.

This had triggered massive protest from farmers of Amaravati, who had given 33,000 acres of land for the capital and were hoping to reap its economic benefits.

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