Shoot at sight orders after post-poll violence in Andhra town

April 24th, 2009 - 10:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, April 24 (IANS) Police in Tadipatri town of Andhra Pradesh’s Anantapur district Friday issued shoot at sight orders after large-scale violence, a day after the second and final phase of polling for Lok Sabha and assembly elections.
More than 20 people including J.C. Prabhakar Reddy, the brother of the state’s Minister for Panchayat Raj J.C. Diwakar Reddy, were injured in the clashes between the activists of the ruling Congress party and the main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP).

A curfew-like situation prevailed in the town as police opened fire in the air at several places to disperse the clashing groups. Police officers have issued orders to the force to shoot anybody indulging in violence.

Armed policemen were patrolling the streets as business establishments, educational institutions and offices remain closed. Police vehicles were moving around in the town warning that anyone found indulging in violence will be shot at sight.

Anantapur district superintendent of police M.K. Singh said they were on the lookout for Prabhakar Reddy, who along with his supporters, attacked some TDP leaders in the morning, triggering a chain of violence across the town.

Police said after the incident-free polling Thursday, some TDP workers attacked their rivals belonging to Congress party. Prabhakar Reddy and his followers took the revenge Friday morning by attacking the houses of TDP candidate from Tadipatri assembly constituency P. Nagi Reddy and his agent.

This was followed by a series of clashes between the two groups. Singh and other senior police officials rushed to the town from Anantapur. The police had a tough time controlling the rampaging mobs, which attacked houses and shops and set vehicles on fire. Both sides used crude bombs and sharp edged weapons.

Police have already arrested Nagi Reddy in connection with the violence.

Meanwhile, the TDP alleged that Diwakar Reddy, his brother and their followers indulged in violence as the minister feared defeat at the hands of Nagi Reddy. Diwakar Reddy, however, denied the involvement of his brother in the violence.

Anantapur district is part of Rayalaseema region notorious for violence between factions supported by the two main parties.

Two people were killed and over 30 injured in violence during the second and final phase polling in 20 Lok Sabha and 150 assembly constituencies in the state.

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