Amaravathi: In the recent face-off between the ruling YSRCP and opposition TDP, village Atmakuru was at the centre of the tussle. TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu had given 'Chalo Atmakuru' call against alleged eviction of some villagers.
Naidu’s attempt to march to Atmakuru was foiled by the police and was placed under house arrest. The village is located in Palnadu region of Guntur district. In the recent years, clashes between two groups, one supporting the YSRCP and the other supporting the TDP, have kept the village on edge.
24 hours after the call, the situation in Atmakuru seems to be under control as Section 144 continues to be in place along with heavy deployment of security forces. Movement of people into the village is being monitored by the police.
The police are now working to restore peace among the villagers and to bring back some locals who had gone to TDP’s relief camp in Arundalpet in Guntur city fearing attacks. Around 50 villagers have returned to their homes after police assurances.
Former sarpanch and TDP supporter Yesebu said, “We fled the village as we feared for our lives. The YSRCP supporters have been attacking us ever since the party came to power. They have also threatened us to vacate the village. The police haven’t filed any case.” He added that they were brought back to the village after police assurances.
However, YSRCP supporters have denied the allegations. “We have not attacked anyone. These are baseless allegations,” said YSRCP supporter Charles, adding that it was the TDP supporters who clashes with the YSRCP after it came to power. The TDP supporters fled the village after the incident, he said.
Atmakur is a small village in Macherla Assembly constituency and is home to nearly 2,500 people comprising 200 families. The conflict in the village started few years ago after a tussle between two groups of the land-owning community. The two groups have family relations, but are divided by their respective support to the TDP and the YSRCP. The group supporting the YSRCP had left the village in 2015, but came back recently when Jagan came to power. Following this, clashes broke out and the group supporting TDP fled the village allegedly for the fear of their lives. They alleged that due to police inaction against the YSRCP supporters they had to take refuge in the relief camp. It was for them that the TDP had planned “Chalo Atmakuru” march on Thursday.