Kapu community members are seeking reservation under Backward Class category and their protests turned violent as the agitators went on rampage and set four coaches of Ratnachal Express on fire at Tuni station in East Godavari district. Here are top 7 things to know:
1. The agitators, gathered at Tuni to attend a public meeting addressed by their leader Mudragada Padmanabh and started pelting the engine of the train with stones and also attacked police personnel, before ransacking the railway station.
2. The protest forced the authorities to stop all trains running between Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada stations. Road traffic on national highway 16 was also disrupted due to the protests.
3. Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu reacted by saying that he was committed to reservation for the community. “I am committed for the reservation for Kapu community for which a Judicial Commission was also constituted.”.
4. He said reservation benefits would be extended to the community without exceeding the total reservation by 50 per cent as per the decision of the Supreme Court.
5. Kapu leader Padmanabh accused the chief minister of giving ‘false promises’ to Kapus on their inclusion in BC category. “Let the CM realise the gravity of the situation,” he added.
6. State Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) R P Thakur said, “They have set on fire four bogies of the train, besides damaging some police vehicles and torching two. Our people are trying to control the situation. Additional forces have been rushed to the spot.”
7. South Central Railway General Manager Ravindra Gupta has held a disaster control meeting with the higher officials in Hyderabad. With several trains being regulated at various stations on the Vijayawada-Rajahmundry-Visakhapatnam section, the SCR officials are making arrangements to provide food and water to passengers and attend to their medical needs.