Amaravati: BJP Andhra Pradesh unit president Somu Veerraju and several leaders of the party were either placed under house arrest or detained by police in a state- wide crackdown to foil the Chalo Amalapuram call in protest against the “growing attacks” on Hindu temples.
Veerraju, who is also a member of the state Legislative Council, was placed under house arrest at Tadepalli near here, close to Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy’s residence, ahead of the protest on Friday, police sources said.
Rajya Sabha members G V L Narasimha Rao and C M Ramesh wrote a letter to Union Home Minister Amit Shah deploring the “illegal detention” of BJP leaders in Andhra Pradesh and also alleged foisting of false cases against Hindus.
They requested Shah to direct the state government to act in accordance with the Constitutional mandate in an unbiased manner and not target the Hindu community and its temples. The MPs claimed there were at least 18 acts of ‘sacrilege’ on temples ever since the Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy government assumed charge.
The BJP gave the Chalo Amalapuram call, protesting the burning of the wooden chariot of famous Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple at Antarvedi in East Godavari district on September 6 and also against “illegal arrest” of 41 people for alleged stone pelting on a church in the town.
No police permission had been given for the protest.
Besides, prohibitory orders are in force in Antarvedi since the chariot burning incident over which the state government has ordered a CBI probe. MLC P V N Madhav managed to reach the proposed agitation spot in Amalapuram, near Antarvedi, along with a couple of other leaders, but they were removed by police and taken in jeeps to different police stations.
The crackdown on BJP leaders began late last night when the state unit general secretary S Vishnuvardhan Reddy was ‘forcibly’ taken away from his place of stay in Amalapuram.
Vishnuvardhan, who enjoys the rank of Union Minister of State being the Vice-Chairman of Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan, alleged police took him on a tour of over 300 kilometres through the night and later detained him in an undisclosed private location.
Former Union Minister Daggubati Purandeswari was placed under house arrest in Karmachedu in Prakasam district while former state minister Ravela Kishore Babu, former MLA Chinnam Ramakotaiah and several other leaders were detained at different places, police sources said.