Nellore: Tension prevailed at Kantepalli village in Sarvepalli segment when locals stopped tippers transporting gravel from the neighbouring forest areas during the early hours of Monday.
They resorted to the protest when high tension power cables snapped and landed close to a group of nine persons sleeping outside a house. This happened as a vehicle hit an electric pole.
Those sleeping there had a narrow escape because of the power grid tripping.
They refused to allow the vehicle movement until higher officials of the district come to their village and addressed their grievances. Police took the protesters and some TD leaders into custody and restored the vehicle movement.
Taking a serious view of the arrest of “peaceful” protesters and TD men, TD Nellore Lok Sabha segment in-charge Abdul Aziz accused the ruling YSRC party of supporting the illegal excavation of gravel from the forest area in Kantepalli.
TD state spokesperson Venkataramana Reddy also slammed the ruling party and Sarvepalli legislator Govardhan Reddy for excavation of gravel from the forest area.
In response, Govardhan Reddy invited TD leaders, especially his arch-rival S Chandramohan Reddy to Kantepalli to ascertain the facts about the gravel mining, at 10am on Tuesday. He also invited the media to the spot to record the facts. He rejected allegations he had any role in the illegal mining.
Meanwhile, former legislator of Gudur, Pasam Suneelkumar asked the police to explain why the protestors, and not the mining mafia, were arrested.
Speaking to the media Suneel Kumar alleged that there was no control over the mining mafia even as they are excavating gravel illegally from forest lands with support from YSRC leaders.
“We will not keep quiet if cases are filed against dalits, girijans and BCs at Kantepalli.”
He urged the authorities to seize the earth-moving machines and tippers used for mining and transporting gravel and file cases against their owners.
Noting that the police have managed to shift the vehicles from Kantepalli, he suspected there are links between the police and the mining mafia.