Arson broke out in Amalapuram town in Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday afternoon when police resorted to a lathi-charge at people who sought to stage a protest near the district Collector's office opposing the proposed renaming of the newly-created Konaseema district as B R Ambedkar Konaseema district.
Several policemen were said to have sustained injuries as irate protestors pelted stones following the lathi-charge. A police vehicle and an educational institution's bus were torched in the town.The office of Transport Minister Pinipe Viswarupu was also attacked and furniture smashed.
Home Minister Taneti Vanitha alleged that some political parties and anti-social elements apparently instigated the arson. "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," the Home Minister said.
On April 4, the new Konaseema district was carved out of the erstwhile East Godavari. Last week, the state government issued a preliminary notification seeking to rename Konaseema as B R Ambedkar Konaseema district and invited objections, if any, from the people.
In this backdrop, 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 protestors and eventually all hell broke loose in the otherwise quiet town.
(With PTI inputs)