Andhra’s Kapu leader, wife continue fast on quota issue

Visakhapatnam, Feb 7 (IANS) Kapu leader Mudragada Padmanabham and his wife on Sunday continued their indefinite fast for the third day in support of the demand for reservation for the community in education and jobs in Andhra Pradesh.

The former minister and his wife Padmavati have been fasting at their house at Kirlampudi in East Godavari district since Friday. The couple locked themselves up and refused to undergo medical check-up.

Though Joint Collector Satyanarayana and district Superintendent of Police Ravi Prakash along with a team of doctors reached Mudragada’s house on Sunday, the couple sent them back. The officers made a similar attempt on Saturday night as well.

The Kapu leader said there was no need for check-up since the couple had decided to dedicate their lives for the Kapu community’s cause. He also accused police of preventing people from visiting his house.

Meanwhile, police and paramilitary forces were deployed near the house amid indications that the fasting couple may be forcibly shifted to a hospital to break their fast.

They are demanding inclusion of the Kapus in a list of backward classes and reservation for the community in education and jobs. They are also seeking Rs.1,900 crore for a Kapu corporation.

Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu earlier appealed to Mudragada to call off his fast and assured that the Andhra Pradesh government was committed to fulfil its promise to include the Kapus in the BC list.

The government has said a commission will make a detailed study of the socio-economic status of the Kapus and recommend the quantum of reservation to be provided.

Meanwhile, police have made tight security arrangements across the district and enforced orders banning assembly of 10 or more people.

Deployment of security forces has been made in Tuni town that witnessed large-scale violence last Sunday when protestors set afire a train, two police stations and several vehicles.

The Kapus account for 27 percent of nearly five crore population of Andhra Pradesh.

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