Kapu leader Padmanabham calls off fast

Kakinada: Kapu community leader and former minister Mudragada Padmanabham today called off his indefinite fast after seven persons, arrested in connection with violence at Tuni in January this year, were released.

Padmanabham ended his fast at his residence in Kirlampudi village here in the presence of his supporters, after his wife gave him lime juice.

Later, addressing the media persons, he accused Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu of acting ‘vindictively’ against him and the Kapu community.

He also alleged that the police acted brutally and foiled his fast by forcibly shifting him and his family members to hospital and keeping them under confinement for 14 days.

“Instead of considering the assurances given, the government subjected me and my family to humiliation. I shall continue my fight for justice,” he said.

Padmanabham, who is spearheading the stir for reservation in education and jobs in Andhra Pradesh to his community, along with his wife had begun the indefinite fast at Kirlampudi village in East Godavari district on June 9.

The agitation by the community, seeking inclusion in the Backward Classes category, had turned violent at Tuni when the protesters went on a rampage setting on fire a passenger train, a police station, and police and private vehicles on January 31 this year.

Padmanabham had earlier also accused the Chief minister of “ignoring” the assurances he had given to Kapu community.

The Andhra Pradesh Crime Investigation Department (CID) is investigating the train burning case.