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Naidu, colleagues sent to Aurangabad jail

By The Assam Tribune

NANDED/HYDERABAD, July 20 (IANS) - Amid high drama, protests by Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leaders and caning by the police, party chief Chandrababu Naidu and his supporters were Tuesday moved from Dharmabad in Maharashtra's Nanded district to the Aurangabad Central Jail.

Naidu and his colleagues, who were remanded to judicial custody till July 26, will be lodged at the Aurangabad Central Jail, located in Harsul on the outskirts of the historic city, a police official said.

Tight security has been deployed on the entire 350 km route from Nanded to Aurangabad Central Jail.

The TDP leaders are expected to reach Aurangabad in fleet of vehicles around 4 pm, a police official said.

The leaders, including Naidu, had entered Dharmabad town, around eight kilometres from the Maharashtra-Andhra Pradesh border in Nanded district, to protest against the Babhali Barrage on the Godavari river Friday.

They alleged that Maharashtra was building the dam illegally and this would deprive Andhra Pradesh of its due share of Godavari waters.

Following the extension of his remand, senior police officials requested Naidu to get up early to facilitate an early departure to Aurangabad due to security concerns as some organisations in Maharashtra had given a call for Nanded district shutdown Tuesday against the TDP leaders.

However, Naidu - lodged in Dharmabad Industrial Training Institute (ITI)- got up late and then further delayed departure to have breakfast, officials said.

Later, his agitated supporters, opposing his shifting from Dharmabad, attempted to surround the ITI building, compelling police to cane them mildly. At least six legislators were allegedly injured.

The TDP chief then demanded an air-conditioned vehicle, which was finally arranged. Again, he refused to go to Aurangabad and demanded that he be allowed to remain in Dharmabad.

Finally the exasperated police and district officials virtually forced Naidu and his colleagues to board waiting buses for the long journey to Aurangabad.

K Narayana Reddy, one of the TDP legislators, told a TV channel over phone that all the party leaders, including Naidu, were being taken to an undisclosed location. "I don't know where they are taking us but I think we are heading towards Aurangabad," he said.

The legislator alleged that the police beat up the legislators while bundling them into two vehicles.

"Even as our leader Chandrababu Naidu was discussing with senior police officials and protesting the way they are treating elected representatives, the police rained lathis on us, badly injuring at least six of our colleagues," he said.

"The police acted in a high-handed manner and beat up our personal assistants. They even threw away our personal belongings," he said.

Some TDP leaders who were accompanying the arrested legislators warned that the incident could have serious repercussions.

Incidentally, Naidu has been accused of seeking political mileage out of the Babhali Barrage issue in view of the by-elections in Telangana region, schedule for July 27.

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Naidu, colleagues sent to Aurangabad jail

NANDED/HYDERABAD, July 20 (IANS) - Amid high drama, protests by Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leaders and caning by the police, party chief Chandrababu Naidu and his supporters were Tuesday moved from Dharmabad in Maharashtra's Nanded district to the Aurangabad Central Jail.

Naidu and his colleagues, who were remanded to judicial custody till July 26, will be lodged at the Aurangabad Central Jail, located in Harsul on the outskirts of the historic city, a police official said.

Tight security has been deployed on the entire 350 km route from Nanded to Aurangabad Central Jail.

The TDP leaders are expected to reach Aurangabad in fleet of vehicles around 4 pm, a police official said.

The leaders, including Naidu, had entered Dharmabad town, around eight kilometres from the Maharashtra-Andhra Pradesh border in Nanded district, to protest against the Babhali Barrage on the Godavari river Friday.

They alleged that Maharashtra was building the dam illegally and this would deprive Andhra Pradesh of its due share of Godavari waters.

Following the extension of his remand, senior police officials requested Naidu to get up early to facilitate an early departure to Aurangabad due to security concerns as some organisations in Maharashtra had given a call for Nanded district shutdown Tuesday against the TDP leaders.

However, Naidu - lodged in Dharmabad Industrial Training Institute (ITI)- got up late and then further delayed departure to have breakfast, officials said.

Later, his agitated supporters, opposing his shifting from Dharmabad, attempted to surround the ITI building, compelling police to cane them mildly. At least six legislators were allegedly injured.

The TDP chief then demanded an air-conditioned vehicle, which was finally arranged. Again, he refused to go to Aurangabad and demanded that he be allowed to remain in Dharmabad.

Finally the exasperated police and district officials virtually forced Naidu and his colleagues to board waiting buses for the long journey to Aurangabad.

K Narayana Reddy, one of the TDP legislators, told a TV channel over phone that all the party leaders, including Naidu, were being taken to an undisclosed location. "I don't know where they are taking us but I think we are heading towards Aurangabad," he said.

The legislator alleged that the police beat up the legislators while bundling them into two vehicles.

"Even as our leader Chandrababu Naidu was discussing with senior police officials and protesting the way they are treating elected representatives, the police rained lathis on us, badly injuring at least six of our colleagues," he said.

"The police acted in a high-handed manner and beat up our personal assistants. They even threw away our personal belongings," he said.

Some TDP leaders who were accompanying the arrested legislators warned that the incident could have serious repercussions.

Incidentally, Naidu has been accused of seeking political mileage out of the Babhali Barrage issue in view of the by-elections in Telangana region, schedule for July 27.