KIRALMPUDI: Kapu patriarch Mudragada Padmanabham began his indefinite hunger strike at his residence here at 8.30 a.m. on Friday as announced after the talks with him by the emissaries of the state government last night failed.
Padmanabham, who is in his early 60s, is on hunger strike pressing for according BC status for Kapus without any further delay. The emissaries of the state government - legislators Bonda Umamaheswara Rao, Jyothula Nehru and Boddu Bhaskara Rama Rao, lat night, tried to persuade him from going on his hunger strike but could not succeed in their effort.
After he began his fast, Padmanabham reiterated his demand that his effort was to ensure justice to the kapus who are being dished out a raw deal by successive governments. "They are backward but they have not been included among the BCs so far. My fight with the government is to ensure justice to them," he said.
He wants the BC commission headed by former Karnataka high court judge KL Manjunath to submit his report within three months and the chief minister should include Kapus among BCs by acting on the report. He also wanted the cases booked in the wake of violence and arson at Tuni on last Sunday be referred to CBI as he had information that police were harassing innocent youth.
The kapu leader and his wife Padmavathi began deeksha in the hall in his residence even as the police sewed up all the roads leading to the village apprehending violence. Earlier in the day, the police took out a flag march in the streets of the village to repose confidence in the people that they were there in the event of any trouble.
When Padmanabham began his hunger strike only about 200 people were around in his residence. Till 7.30 a.m. police allowed visitors inside the house after taking their names and other details but later when the number kept increasing, they closed the doors even as some admirers of Padmanabham staged a protest outside.
At about 9.45 a team of doctors from Prathipadu government hospital nearby conducted a health check on Padmanabham and his wife and found that they their were of sound health.
Later, Padmanabham and his supporters using large spoons as gongs, struck at steel plates, in demonstration of what his supporter across the coastal districts should do at their homes in expression of solidarity to his indefinite hunger strike.