The police fired 12 rounds into the air at two places in Chilakaluripet in Guntur district on Wednesday to disperse the Congress and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) workers, who clashed at the Mandal Revenue Office while their party candidates came there to file nominations. The mob ransacked a bar and restaurant and broke its glass doors and furniture, torched a couple of two-wheelers and two bicycles, broke windshield of a car, at the MRO’s office and the Congress office.
No casualties were reported, but many received minor injuries when the warring party workers threw stones at each other.
The Border Security Fore (BSF) and the Armed Reserve Police (AR) were deployed all over the town after the Additional Superintendent of Police, Tilak, reviewed the situation. The police said that the situation was tense, but under control.
The whole problem erupted when the Congress rebel candidate from Chilakaluripet Assembly constituency, Marri Rajasekhar, came along with thousands of supporters to the MRO’s office to file nomination before noon, but exceeded the time limit (12.45 p.m.) given by the police.
The TDP nominee and former MLA, Prattipati Pulla Rao, who was given time from 1.20 p.m. to file his papers, arrived in time along with a large number of supporters and asked the Congress workers to make way for them. Workers from both parties threw slippers and stones at each other leading to a major clash and the district police had to resort to lathi-charge. When the police could not control the situation, they fired two rounds into the air while TDP workers chased away Mr. Marri Rajasekhar’s supporters.
Though Rajasekhar’s supporters tried to scuttle filing of nomination by the official Congress candidate, Malladi Shivunnarayana, he handed over the papers to the Assistant Returning Officer and the Velugu Project Director, Ch. Vijay Kumar, at about 2.45 p.m.
While returning from the MRO’s Office to the Town Congress office, the party workers ransacked the Golden Bar and restaurant enroute belonging to Sambasiva Rao, the son-in-law of the GDCC Bank Chairman, Manam Venkateswarlu.
In front of the Congress office the party workers allegedly taunted some Telugu Desam workers, which led to second round of clash and in no time hundreds of them assembled from both sides and torched some two-wheelers and bicycles. The police tried to prevent them from causing any damage, but had to fire again into the air — this time eight rounds.
Meanwhile, a large number of policemen and paramilitary forces were requisitioned and deployed, which dispersed all the party workers to their respective villages in the lorries they were transported.