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Jagan detained, 16 injured in police firing

Last updated on: May 28, 2010 20:10 IST

Jagan detained, 16 injured in police firing and clashes

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Congress MP Y S Jaganmohan Reddy was on Friday forced to abandon his tour of Telangana region after he was taken into preventive custody at a railway station in Nalgonda district following violence and police firing that left 16 people injured.

Nine people were injured when police fired to quell protesters, police said.

Eight policemen were also hurt in the violence that broke out in protest against his visit. Jaganmohan, son of late Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, had undertaken his 'Odarpu Yatra' to console people who had allegedly committed suicide or died after hearing his father's death in a helicopter crash last year, despite the party leadership asking him not to do so.

He was detained at the Vangipalli railway station in the wake of violence in Mahbubabad town in Warangal district, the hotbed of separate Telangana agitation, in protest against his tour, police said.


Image: Jagan addresses supporters at Warangal on Friday
Photographs: Snaps India
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Though initially it was reported that one person was killed in the violence, Director General of Police R R Girish Kumar said later that the youth had only fallen unconscious. "It was presumed initially that he died but he had actually become unconscious," he told reporters. A defiant Jagan, however, vowed to undertake his tour to console over 70 families at an opportune time.

"The leaders who are blocking my personal tour should ponder if it was fair to indulge in such nefarious politics," an angry Jagan, who is opposed to creation of a separate Telangana, said.

37-year-old Jagan, a first time MP from Kadapa, had this morning embarked on his seven-day trip by a train from Secunderabad. There were mild protests en route from pro-Telangana agitators but the Mahbubabad railway station turned out to be the main battle ground where the pro and anti-Jagan groups clashed.

The pro-Telangana agitators vandalized the Mahbubabad railway station and hurled stones at Congress MLA Konda Surekha and local MLA Kavita when they were sitting inside the waiting room to receive Jagan. Kavita suffered an injury in the stone-pelting while Surekha escaped unhurt.


Image: Jagan being taken away by the police
Photographs: Snaps India
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Jagan detained, 16 injured in police firing and clashes

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Their personal security officers immediately whisked them away to safety and opened nine rounds of fire to quell the agitators. While eight police personnel were injured in stone-pelting, nine civilians were wounded in police firing, police said.

Holding Jagan responsible today's violence in Warangal district, the Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) called for a bandh in the region tomorrow.

"Had the government taken preventive action, all this would not have happened. Jagan and MLC Konda Murali are responsible for the incidents at Mahabubabad," JAC Convener C Kodandaram alleged. In the midst of the turmoil, the Inter-City Express by which Jagan was travelling to Mahbubabad, was detained for more than three hours at Vangipalli railway station.

Initially there was a bomb scare following which railway authorities ran a pilot engine for an anti-sabotage check on the track on the busy Hyderabad-Vijayawada sector.


Image: Protestors try to attack a train.
Photographs: Snaps India
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As a result, many trains on the route got delayed causing inconvenience to thousands of passengers. South Central Railway authorities here said about 14 trains on the route were "regulated" following the violence at Mahbubabad.

As the situation appeared to be going out of hand, police prevailed upon the Kadapa MP to abandon his yatra and took him into preventive custody. Two MLAs Srikanth (Congress) and Maheshwar Reddy (PRP) were also detained by police along with Jagan.

They were released later on personal surety and turned here in the evening. Elsewhere in Warangal district, police arrested Telugu Desam Party MLA E Dayakar Rao and Telangana Sadhana Samiti MLC K Dileep Kumar who vowed to block Jagans yatra.

Chief Minister K Rosaiah, who returned to the state capital from Nellore after attending the marriage of a ministers son, was briefed by Home Minister P Sabita Reddy, Director General of Police R R Girish Kumar and Inspector General of Police (Intelligence) Mahender Reddy.


Image: A police firing victim being taken to hospital at Warangal
Photographs: Snaps India
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The home minister later said an inquiry was being ordered into the police firing in Mahbubabad. She said Jagan was taken into preventive custody only to maintain law and order. In Mahbubabad, statues of Indira Gandhi and Potti Sriramulu, who sacrificed his life for the creation of Andhra state, were damaged by pro-Telangana protestors.

A police vehicle and another belonging to Sakshi media, owned by Jagan, were set on fire. Meanwhile, protesting the detention of Jagan, his followers in Tirupati and Kadapa staged road blockades.

Some violence was also reported from Tirupati where protestors damaged a few business establishments. Protestors also reportedly set two bogies of Padmavathi Express on fire in protest against Jagans detention. In Jammalamadugu and other places in Kadapa district, roads were blocked by those protesting against Jagan's tour while his loyalists called for a bandh in the district tomorrow.


Image: Jagan was kept under house arrest
Photographs: Snaps India
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