Kakinada/Vijayawada/Hyderabad: The stir by Kapu community members seeking reservation under Backward Class category turned violent on Sunday with agitators setting four coaches of Ratnachal Express on fire at Tuni railway station in East Godavari district, disrupting train movement on the Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam section.
However, timely intervention of railway officials ensured that no passenger suffered injuries in the incident, said Vijayawada Station Manager N. Suresh Babu.
He said the agitators, gathered at Tuni to attend a public meeting addressed by their leader and ex-minister Mudragada Padmanabh, pelted stones at the train and attacked some police personnel, before ransacking the railway station.
The demonstrators also blocked portion of national highway 16, bringing vehicular traffic between Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada to a halt in afternoon. According to a release issue by South Central Railway, Vijayawada-Visakhapatnam Ratnachal Express was stopped at 15.20 hours between Tuni and Hamsavaram railway stations on Rajahmundry – Visakhapatnam section of Vijayawada Division by ‘Kapunadu Garjana’ agitators who sat on the track, climbed on the locomotive and damaged hose pipe/ glasses of the locomotive.
The incident forced authorities to stop all trains running between Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada stations, causing a huge inconvenience to passengers.
Padmanabh demanded that the government should immediately issue two GOs (Government Orders) including one granting the Backward Class status to the community and another sanctioning Rs1000 crore to the State Kapu Welfare and Development
Corporation. Kapus are mainly concentrated in the coastal districts and Rayalaseema regions, besides in North Telangana.