ELURU: Mild tension prevailed at Jagannadhapuram village in Tadepalligudem mandal with BJP and TDP leaders and activists staging protests and counter protests over alleged illegal sand transportation.
Trouble started when Tadepalligudem BJP MLA P Manikyala Rao, following information that some local TDP leaders were illegally transporting sand extracted from a tank, went to Jagannadhapuram village and stopped 30 lorries. After stopping the lorries, the MLA informed the local revenue officials, who, according to reports, did not turn up to look into the allegations illegal sand extraction.
Angered over this, the MLA along with party activists staged a protest in the village. Soon, leaders and activists of YSRC and Jana Sena too reached there and extended their support to the MLA. Sand transportation is allegedly backed by local ruling party leaders.
Soon TDP activists too started counter protests and blocked all roads leading to the village. Tension prevailed for some time as the rival groups were involved in heated exchange of words.
Upon coming to know about the tension, Kovvur DSP Venkateswara Rao rushed police from the entire sub-division to Jagannadhapuram. With the MLA on one side and the ruling TDP leaders on the other, the police were left in a dilemma for some time as to how to handle the situation.
Manikayala Rao demanded that the vehicles transporting sand illegally should be seized immediately and action taken against those involved in the illegal transportation.
“It is unfortunate that the TDP leaders and activists are preventing us from stopping illegal sand transportation,’’ the BJP MLA said and accused the police of stopping him instead of taking action against TDP leaders.
At one point of time, Manikyala Rao lost his cool and went to the extent of saying that he would show what he was capable of if the police left the village for 10 minutes. With both sides unrelenting, DSP Venkateswara Rao held talks with both the groups and pacified them. The lorries, however, left later.
Venkateswara Rao said they would verify the records pertaining to the ownership and other details of the lorries transporting sand and would take necessary action, if it was found that they were transporting sand illegally.
It may be recalled that the TDP and BJP were at loggerheads and even clashed with Manikyala Rao and TDP Zilla Parishad chairman M Bapiraju throwing challenge for an open debate on the development of Tadepalligudem constituency recently.