Visakhapatnam: After nearly five-hour long drama and high tension at Visakhapatnam Airport on Thursday, police detained former Andhra Pradesh chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and sent him back after ruling YSRCP cadres stopped him from entering the city.
Naidu along with his supporters sat on the road outside the airport to protest against the police for not allowing him to go ahead with his visit to the port city and the north coastal region. Naidu was taken into preventive custody at the airport for his 'safety'.
Naidu, who arrived from Vijayawada, was stopped by the protesters after he stepped out of the airport. Naidu was greeted with eggs, tomatoes and chappals at Visakhapatnam airport on Thursday, when he came to the port city to take part in “Praja Chaitanya Yatra," against YSR Congress party government.
Protesting his visit to the port city, the workers of YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) stopped his convoy. Raising slogans of 'Babu go back' and 'Jai Jagan' they lied down on the road to stop the former chief minister.
Police were having a tough time in separating the two groups and prevent a clash. The stand-off continued for nearly five hours. A notice under Section 151 CrPC was served on Naidu and he was taken into preventive custody "because of his safety and security", Visakhapatnam city Commissioner of Police Rajiv Kumar Meena told PTI. The Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly was sent back into the VIP lounge inside the airport here. "He has cooperated with us and agreed to go to the VIP lounge at the airport. Though we initially tried to allow him to go ahead with his planned programme, there were too many numberof protestors and so we decided to take him into preventive custody for his safety," Meena said.
At one point, Naidu got down from his vehicle and sat on the road. Some police officers tried to persuade him to go back to Vijayawada. He, however, rejected their suggestion and said he would continue his peaceful protest.
As the situation continued to be tense, police moved to detain Naidu. The TDP chief wanted the police officers to give them in writing as to why they want to arrest him.
The officers later gave him in writing that they are arresting him under Section 151 of Criminal Procedure Code.
The police later dropped him at the airport to send him back to either Vijayawada or Hyderabad.
Large number of TDP supporters had reached the airport to welcome Naidu, who arrived on his first visit to the port city after it was declared the executive capital by the government last month.
YSRCP workers also gathered there to protest against Naidu's visit. Holding black flags, they were raising slogans of 'Babu go back'.
YSRCP leaders said the former chief minister had no moral right to visit Visakhapatnam after opposing it as the executive capital. Naidu is leading the movement to demand that Amaravati be retained as the only state capital.
There was huge mobilization of police personnel outside the airport to prevent clash between the two groups.
Police have denied permission to the TDP chief for taking out a rally from the airport to Pendurthy.
Naidu, however, had vowed to go ahead with his two-day visit to north Andhra region. While heading for Vizianagaram district, he is scheduled to stop at Pendurthy to meet the people, whose lands were being acquired by the government for housing for poor scheme.
The state Assembly last month passed two Bills for decentralization of state capital. Visakhapatnam and Kurnool will be developed as the two other capitals in addition to Amaravati.
Visakhapatnam will be developed as the executive capital while Kurnool will be developed as judicial capital. The state Assembly will continue to function in Amaravati.
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.