After a daylong high drama Kapu community leader and former minister Mudragada Padmanabham, who began an indefinite fast at his residence at Kirlampudi village in East Godavari district on Thursday, was arrested by CID sleuths in connection with the train burning incident at Tuni early this year.
Padmanabham along with his wife began indefinite hunger strike seeking release of the five youths arrested two days ago in connection with the burning of train and attack on police station on January 31. He had fixed a deadline till Thursday night for the release of those arrested. But the government refused to react saying that it was unheard of that a leader was seeking release of those who were arrested for their involvement in arson and violence.
It may be recalled that the agitation by Kapus, seeking inclusion in the Backward Classes category, had turned violent at Tuni when the protesters went on a rampage setting on fire a passenger train, a police station, besides police and private vehicles. Mudragada, who launched his fast unto death on Thursday morning closed the doors of his house and threatened to consume insecticide if police tries to arrest him.
His supporters picked up argument with the police personnel and demanded that they first clearly mention the charges against Padmanabham if they intended to arrest him. Eluru Range Deputy Inspector General of Police P Ramakrishna, East Godavari district Superintendent of Police Raviprakash and other senior police officials camped in Kirlampudi to oversee security and also prevail upon the former minister to give up.
Late in the evening on Thursday, the police took scores of Padmanabham's supporters into custody and drove them away in vehicles. The police barged into the residence of Mudragada by breaking the door. As Mudragada opened the bottle to consume pesticide, police foiled his attempt by snatcing away the bottle and emptied the contents.
Later, Mudragada was shifted to the Government General Hospital in Rajamahendravaram for medical checkup. Doctors confirmed after medical tests that nothing was amiss. He is likely to be produced before the magistrate late on Thursday night and would be sent to Rajamahendravaram jail.
Padmanabham has been named as an accused in the train burning case for having organised the agitation programme. He was also charged with violating prohibitory orders issued under the Section 144 CrPc two days ago in Amalapuram town and staging a protest outside the local police station demanding release of the five arrested youths, a CID official said.
Police have tightened security all along the national highway and checking all the vehicles going on national highway. Traffic was diverted from Lala Cheruvu clearing the government hospital road. The GGH in Rajamahendravaram was transformed into fortress with large number of police personnel posted and fence put up in front of the hospital.
Meanwhile, Kapu community associations have decided to meet at Vijayawada on Friday evening at 4 pm to discuss the developments unfolding with the arrest of Kapu leader Mudragada Padmanabham.Kapu JAC convener Koppula Venkat in a press release said various Kapu organizations would attend the meeting.
Congress party Kapu leaders are also holding a meeting at the Andhra Pradesh Congress state office in Vijayawada on June 12 at 10 am. Congress party Kapu leaders Akula Srinivas, Naraharisetty Narasimha Rao and Lingamsetti Eswara Rao announced on Thursday that the Kapu leaders of the Congress party would attend the meeting to discuss the Kapu reservations issue.