Uneasy calm prevailed at the construction site of the AP Government Transitional Headquarters at Velagapudi in Amaravati on Wednesday, a day after the death of a construction worker and subsequent violence.
Prohibitory orders were issued under Section 144 of the CrPC, denying entry to outsiders and disallowing public gatherings. Given the importance of the temporary secretariat complex — the first construction activity taken up in the new capital city — the State Government considers it prestigious and does not want its image to take a beating. Guntur (rural) SP K Narayan Naik said no protests or any 'disturbances' will be allowed.
With police deployed in large numbers, there was minimum contact between workers and trade unionists, protesting against the lack of proper facilities at the site. The construction activity continued without any hindrance on Wednesday. It is learnt that district officials had a long discussion with the contractors and supervisors, emphasising the importance of the ongoing project and urgency for its completion. The message was clear: no protests or violence will be allowed.
However, outside the site, there was 'trouble' with the YSRC and Left parties trying to take out a rally to the secretariat complex in the morning. They were stopped by the police on the outskirts of Velagapudi. Heated arguments ensued between the protesters and the police, which led to some tense moments. Those leading the rally, including CPM state secretary P Madhu, YSRC trade union state president P Gowtham Reddy and a few others were arrested and whisked away to the Mangalagiri police station. MLCs MVS Sarma and Boddu Nageswara Rao and former MLC KS Lakshman Rao also tried to enter the site.