Police foil party’s ‘Ramateertham Yatra’ for the second time citing prohibitory orders
With the police foiling its second attempt to visit Ramateertham in the district, where an idol of Lord Rama was desecrated 10 days ago, the State BJP on Thursday took the issue to the notice of Union Home Minister Amit Shah and sought an inquiry into the government’s “high-handed behaviour.”
Party State president Somu Veerraju, Rajya Sabha member G.V.L. Narasimha Rao, MLC P.V.N. Madhav, and senior leader P. Sanyasi Raju were arrested at different places and prevented from taking out their proposed ‘Ramateertha Yatra’.
The police foiled the yatra at the Ramateertham junction, located about 12 km from the district headquarters.
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Annoyed at the forcible arrests, Mr. Narasimha Rao spoke to Mr. Amit Shah and sought his intervention. He also sought an inquiry into the denial of permission by the police only to the BJP, while the leaders of the YSRCP and the TDP had been allowed to visit the temple soon after the incident.
There was high drama right from the early hours of the day with many leaders and activists arriving from Visakhapatnam and Srikakulam districts in spite of heavy deployment of police forces and barricading on the inter-district borders.
A few of the leaders and activists had reached Ramateertham on Wednesday night itself.
The yatra is aimed at exposing the government’s “failure” in tracing the culprits who had desecrated the idol at the historic temple believed to have been constructed in the 16th century.
In their attempt to prevent the arrest of Mr. Veerraju, senior party leaders such as former MLA Gadde Babu Rao, N. Eswara Rao, and T. Harinath stood around him. Mr. Veerraju too resisted his arrest and deplored what he called the rude behaviour of the police.
The police later shifted the leaders to a private guest house and released them at around 5 p.m.
Earlier, Visakhapatnam Range Deputy Inspector General L.K.V. Ranga Rao and Vizianagaram Superintendent of Police B. Rajakumari made it clear that no procession would be allowed in the district since Section 30 was in force. They said that it would be in force till further orders to ensure peace and law and order.
Meanwhile, the CID team that is continuing its investigation into the issue is hopeful of nabbing the culprits soon.
Officials of the Endowments Department visited the temple to study the steps to be taken to beef up security and undertake developmental activities there.
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