VISAKHAPATNAM/VIZIANAGARAM: The police foiled the ‘Ramatheertham Dharma Yatra’ planned by the BJP-Jana Sena combine to protest against desecration of Ram idol at Sri Kodandarama temple atop Bodikonda at Ramatheertham in Vizianagaram district.
Tension prevailed at Ramatheertham when the police tried to prevent BJP president Somu Veerraju from going to the temple.
In the melee, Somu fell down. Speaking to mediapersons, Somu Veerraju said when YSRC MP Vijayasai Reddy and TDP president N Chanrababu Naidu were given permission to visit Ramatheertham, how can they deny permission to the BJP leaders.
“We will not rest till we bring down Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy. If the Chief Minister has any commitment to the people, he should prevent attacks on temples,” he demanded.
Meanwhile, the police surrounded Veerraju and shifted him to Vizianagaram. Earlier, the police imposed Section 30 and Section 144 at Ramatheertham.
The police also kept several BJP and Jana Sena leaders under house arrest in Vizag and Vizianagaram. A large contingent of police personnel was deployed at Nellimarla and Ramatheertham. Check posts were set up on the outskirts of Nellimarla and in Vizianagaram to prevent the entry of BJP and JSP activists from other areas.
Despite imposition of Section 30 and Section 144, BJP MLC Madhav managed to reach Ramatheertham, where he along with BJP leaders staged a dharna. Police arrested the BJP MLC and other workers and shifted them to Gurla police station.
In Vizag, the city police cordoned off the BJP office at Lawsons Bay Colony and prevented BJP leaders Kamineni Srinivas and CM Ramesh from going out from their houses.
Kamineni said though they said they were ready to cooperate with the police, they were not allowed to go to the party office. He said the police do not have the right to stop them from visiting the party office. Former BJP MLA P Vishnu Kumar Raju was also detained by the police at his house.
Nellimarla BJP in-charge Nadikuditi Eswara Rao was kept under house arrest from Monday night itself. Similarly, police also prevented Vizianagaram JSP in-charge Palavalasa Yasasvi from going to Ramathertham. BJP and JSP activists picked up an argument with the police for not allowing them to go to Ramateertham. Several BJP and JSP leaders of Srikakulam were kept under house arrest.
BJP calls for protest
BJP state leaders called for a State-wide protests on Wednesday. The protests are likely to continue until the party members are allowed to enter the temple. In a statement, BJP State general secretary S Vishnu Vardhan Reddy said the party will stage protests in front of district collectorates.
‘BJP leaders should be allowed to inspect temple’
In a statement on Tuesday, BJP State general secretary S Vishnu Vardhan Reddy said the party has decided to stage protests in front of all district collectorates with a demand that the party leaders be allowed ‘unconditionally’ to inspect the temple where the idol of Lord Ram was vandalised.
“Why are only BJP leaders being detained when YSRCP and TDP leaders can visit the temple? So, we will voice our dissent against the YSRC government’s attitude through demonstrations across the state,” he said.