GUNTUR: Atmakur, a small village with a population of 2,700 in Durgi mandal, has hit the headlines, following ‘Chalo Atmakur’ planned by the TDP on Wednesday to protest against the alleged attacks on the party cadre by YSRC activists. Expecting trouble, a huge police force was deployed and outsiders were not allowed into the village. OSD Gajarao Bhupal inspected the village and directed police to keep a strict vigil. In the evening, everyone heaved a sigh of relief as no untoward incident took place in the village.
Group clashes due to political rivalry in the village are not new and they commenced as early as 1989 as the people got divided into the lines of political affiliations. Now, villagers say they want to live in peace sans any violence. It has been observed that the village is dominated by the group supporting the ruling party in the State, while the group backing the opposition is forced to leave the village.
When TDP came to power in 2014, around 30 families supporting YSRC were forced to leave the village, fearing a threat from the rival group owing allegiance to the ruling party. After five years, they returned to the village to cast their vote in the general elections. After the election results were out, they stayed put in the village, while the other group consisting of 14 families, which is supporting TDP, had started facing trouble. They were forced to leave the village due to mounting pressure.
Even as the TDP leadership was trying to corner the ruling YSRC using the rivalry between the two groups, the police started negotiations with them. Gurajala DSP K Srihari held talks with both the groups not less than 10 times before they decided to bury the hatchet and live together in the village. The 14 families supporting the TDP, returned to Atmakur on September 9 itself.