Violent protests rock Amaravati over 3-capital move



Violent protests rocked Amaravati on Friday as a crucial meeting of the Andhra Pradesh cabinet was underway to take a decision on the three-capital proposal.

A thick security blanket was thrown around 29 villages as farmers intensified the protest over Jagan Mohan Reddy-led government's proposal to develop Visakhapatnam and Kurnool as the capital cities in addition to Amaravati.

Police sealed roads leading towards the State Secretariat at Velagapudi, where the chief minister was presiding over the cabinet meeting.

Three policemen were injured when protestors pelted stones in Velagapudi.

Hundreds of protestors came onto the roads despite prohibitory orders imposed under Section 144.

Men and women squatted on the roads, demanding that Amaravati be retained as the full-fledged capital.

Violence also broke out during the protest at Uddhandarayunipalem village where Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the capital in 2015.

Three media persons were injured when protestors attacked a car with sticks and stones.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state president Kanna Lakshminarayan was leading the protest in the village.

A committee of experts constituted by the government last week submitted its report, recommending development of three capitals.

As per the panel's recommendations, administrative capital will come up in Visakhapatnam while High Court will be in Kurnool.

Amaravati, conceived as the world-class city during the previous Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government by then Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, will have only State Assembly and Raj Bhavan.

Amaravati farmers are up in arms against the proposal as they had given 33,000 acres of land for building the capital.

They alleged that shifting the capital functions to Visakhapatnam and Kurnool will harm their interests.IANS