Protestors storm Andhra Pradesh assembly

February 4th, 2009 - 7:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Feb 4 (IANS) Members of a caste group Wednesday stormed the Andhra Pradesh legislative assembly to press for their demand for categorisation of Scheduled Castes as per population to evenly share reservation benefits.About 40 activists of Madiga Reservation Porata Samithi (MRPS) barged into the high-security assembly building. Some of them climbed on the building, threatening to jump to death if the Congress government failed to meet their long-pending demand.

Few others created a scare by barging into the chambers of three ministers and locking them from inside. They said they would open the doors only if Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy immediately left for Delhi to pressurise the Congress leadership to introduce the categorisation bill in Parliament.

The ministers were not present in the chambers and the police had to break open the doors to arrest the protestors. The police also overpowered the protestors on the roof and arrested them.

Madiga is a sub-caste under the Scheduled Castes (SC) and has been agitating for the last one decade for categorisation of the SCs to ensure distribution of the reservation quota among sub-castes as per their population.

It was a major security lapse at the assembly, which was in session. However, the house had adjourned for the day five minutes before the incident. The MRPS activists managed to obtain visitor passes and entered the building by dividing themselves into four groups.

The protestors managed to storm the building and barge into the chambers of Home Minister K. Jana Reddy and two other ministers despite the fact that 500 policemen were deployed as part of the massive security arrangements for the 10-day session, which began Monday.

The security at the assembly building was tightened further following the recent terror attacks in Mumbai.

Shocked by the security lapse, Speaker K.R. Suresh Reddy sought an immediate report from the security officials.

City police commissioner B. Prasada Rao, who visited the assembly building, said the police had arrested 27 protestors.

“They entered the premises only on valid passes. I can say there are no lapses on part of the police, as every individual was sent in on a valid pass and after frisking only. They did not carry any weapon,” he said.

Assembly security officer Gajapathi Raju refused to comment on the security lapses like keeping the staircase open to anybody and not monitoring and controlling the issue of passes.

Reddy told reporters that action would be taken against those involved in the incident.

He said the speaker would take the necessary action as the incident took place in the assembly premises.

MRPS leader Manda Krishna Madiga, however, defended the action by his followers. He said they were forced to resort to this action as the chief minister has gone back on his promise to pressurise the Congress leadership to bring a legislation for categorisation of SC reservation.

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