AP crisis: Kapus set train, 2 police stations on fire

Kakinada: Movement of trains between Vijayawada and Vishakhapatnam, and vehicular traffic on Chennai-Kolkata National Highway came to a grinding halt on Sunday when thousands of protestors blocked the highway and railway lines in Andhra Pardesh’s East Godavari district.

An agitation by the Kapus community for their inclusion in the backward classes list (BC) turned violent with agitators setting two police stations and at least six compartments of a train on fire.

The trouble began during the public meeting of the Kapus community when Kapus leader and former minister Mudragada Padmanabham called for the community members to block roads and railway lines till the state government issued orders to include them in the list.

Soon the protestors fanned out and stopped Ratnachal Express near Tuni. They also damaged the engine and set the empty compartments on fire as the passengers escaped in panic.

15 cops sustained injuries as the agitators clashed with the security forces. The protestors also damaged 25 police vehicles.

CM N Chandrababu Naidu convened an emergency of the top officials in Vijayawada to review the situation.

Late on Sunday evening, Kapu leader Padmanabham withdrew the blockade and said that he would sit for an indefinite fast if the government didn’t comply by Monday.

(Image courtesy: ANI)

News24 Bureau