Monday, December 4, 2023

Andhra police intensify checks at state border amid ‘Chalo Rajahmundry’ IT employees’ protest

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Andhra Pradesh police took unexpected measures on an early Sunday morning by conducting surprise vehicle checks at the state border with Telangana. This action came in response to the “Chalo Rajahmundry” call made by Hyderabad IT employees in protest of the arrest of former Andhra Chief Minister and TDP (Telugu Desam Party) leader, N. Chandrababu Naidu.

Visuals from the scene depicted police officers setting up barricades at the Andhra-Telangana border, actively scrutinizing vehicles entering from Telangana. Hyderabad’s IT employees had planned a car rally from Hyderabad to Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh to express solidarity with Naidu. However, this rally was denied permission by the Andhra Pradesh police.

Naidu currently resides in Rajahmundry Central Prison, facing allegations related to a purported skill development scam. Vijayawada Commissioner Kanthi Rana Tata directed police officials to limit the entry of IT employees into the state, citing security concerns.

Mylavaram Assistant Commissioner of Police, Ramesh, issued restriction orders under CrpC (Code of Criminal Procedure) Section 144 in Vijayawada. He cautioned that anyone violating these orders would face legal consequences. Ramesh remarked, “There is information that IT employees of Hyderabad are planning to come to Rajahmundry from Hyderabad to extend their support to the ex-CM Chandrababu Naidu. There is no permission for them to come to Rajahmundry. Section 144 has been enforced in Vijayawada city. In case of violation of orders, we will take legal action and put them (IT employees) under appropriate sections. We appeal to them not to violate the concerned sections and not go to Rajahmundry.”

Earlier in the week, security was tightened around Rajahmundry Central Prison. The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) court in Vijayawada decided to extend Naidu’s remand for an additional two days. During this time, Naidu would be under the custody of the Crime Investigation Department (CID) and subject to interrogation from 9 am to 5 pm.

Chandrababu Naidu was placed in judicial custody on September 10 for 14 days, until September 23, by the ACB court in Vijayawada. His arrest is connected to an alleged Skill Development Corporation scam. The case centers around the establishment of clusters of Centres of Excellence (CoEs) in Andhra Pradesh, with an estimated project value of Rs 3300 crore. Official reports suggest that this alleged fraud has inflicted a substantial loss on the state government, exceeding Rs 300 crore.

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