Seeking quota benefits under Backward Class (BC) category, the Kapu community members resorted to violence on Sunday, setting a train, police station and police vehicles on fire, and blocking road and rail traffic for several hours at Tuni, in East Godavari district. The Vijayawada bound Ratnachal express was set on fire and a lot of destruction ensued in Tuni town.
While this seems like a violent protest at a first glance, deeper thought into it makes the politics of it evident. The community, which has been demanding a BC status for a long time now, is said to be backed heavily by the opposition parties in the state and Sunday’s incident is something that has been instigated by them.
This is also clear, in the words of the Chief Minister of state, Nara Chandrababu Naidu, who condemned the incident and said “East Godavari is such a peaceful district. I have never seen this kind of violence in the last 40 years. YSRCP leaders organised and instigated the mobs which set fire to a train and clashed with police. In the history of the state, police officials were never attacked by anyone. But today, six AP Police officials and six Railway Police officials were beaten up by the protesters. One Circle Inspector and one constable are in serious condition. The train was pelted with stones and set on fire. You have a right to protest and hold meetings, but why to instigate violence.”
He also added, saying “Kapu community has nothing to do with the Tuni train burning incident. It is the handiwork of a gang belonging to a criminal. They will do anything for politics. Committing horrific crimes is a part of their life. They are creating differences between castes, religions and regions. The entire state needs to engage in a dialogue to understand and see through their evil designs. There is no question of compromising when it comes to handling criminals in the garb of political parties.”
Going by the fact that the protesters turned out in higher numbers than estimated and it all turned so violent after an identified group of people joined the peaceful protest; it is clear that a secret hand is involved.