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Andhra Pradesh: Violence erupts over renaming of district, protesters set fire to minister’s house

By Priyanka Verma 
Updated Date

Hyderabad: A group of angry protesters in Andhra Pradesh’s Amalapuram town set state Transport Minister P Viswarup’s house on fire on Tuesday, May 24, over proposed renaming of the newly-created Konaseema district as B R Ambedkar Konaseema district.

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Protesters opposing the proposal to rename the district also attacked the residence of state minister P. Viswaroop, torched few vehicles and resorted to stone pelting, triggering tension in the town.

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The minister and his family were moved to safety by the police.

Several policemen were injured by the stones thrown by the protesters.

The state Home Minister Taneti Vanitha said,”It is unfortunate that over 20 police personnel sustained injuries in the incident. We will conduct a thorough investigation into the incident and bring the culprits to book.”

Last week, the YS Jagan Mohan Reddy government issued a notification seeking to change the name of Konaseema district into Dr B R Ambedkar Konaseema district. The notification called for any objections and suggestions to be submitted to the collector within 30 days.

In fact, Konaseema district is a new district, carved out from erstwhile combined East Godavari with Amalapuram as its headquarters, as part of reorganisation of 13 districts into 26 with effect from April 26. Konaseema region, known for its greenery and coconut plantations, has a sizeable population of the Dalit community which has been demanding that a district in the state must be named after Dr BR Ambedkar.

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The Konaseema Sadhana Samiti objected to the proposed renaming of the district and wanted the name Konaseema retained.

The Samiti organised a protest on Tuesday and sought to submit a memorandum to the district Collector Himanshu Shukla against the renaming.

Police tried to foil the protest, which apparently infuriated the protesters and violence erupted.

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