Andhra Pradesh Government renames Konaseema District after Dr BR Ambedkar

The Andhra Pradesh government decided on Friday to rename Konaseema district such as the district of Dr BR Ambedkar Konaseema, a month after the district was rocked by violence protesting the proposal.

The State Cabinet Meeting chaired by the Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy approved the gazette notification issued May 18 to rename the district.

Police have tightened security throughout the district, especially the Amalapuram district headquarters, which witnessed mob violence on May 24 against the government’s decision.

Dozens of people, including 25 police officers, were injured in the violence.

Protesters opposed to the proposed renaming of the district burned down the homes of Minister of State P. Viswaroop and MP P. Satish and also torched some police and private vehicles.

In view of the Cabinet’s decision, the police took elaborate security measures to prevent any demonstrations. Additional forces have been deployed in the city and other parts of the district to prevent any untoward incidents.

Close scrutiny was maintained against organizations that staged massive protests leading to the violence last month.

On May 18, the state government issued a notification seeking objections and suggestions on the proposed renaming of Konaseema district to Dr. Ambedkar Konaseema district. He solicited suggestions and objections from people residing in Konaseema. The 30-day period for sending objections and suggestions ended last week.

Konaseema district was carved out of East Godavari with Amalapuram as its seat.

It was one of 13 districts created on April 4, bringing the total number of districts in the state to 26.

The government had named some of the districts after prominent figures like freedom fighter Alluri Sitarama Raju, former chief minister and founder of TDP Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao, which was popular as NTR.

Similarly, two new neighborhoods have been named after the holy composer Tallapaka Annamacharya (Annamayya) and Satya Sai Baba (Sri Satya Sai).

The YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government led by Jagan Mohan Reddy had been criticized by Dalit groups and others for not naming a district after Ambedkar.

However, the government’s decision to rename Konaseema district has drawn criticism from some groups.

Hundreds of people had participated in the protest called by Konaseema Sadhana Samithi (KSS) on May 24 and it led to violence.

The police investigation revealed that two dominant castes in the district – Kapus and Setti Balijasa – came together to oppose the decision to rename Konaseema district after Ambedkar.

According to the police, the gathering of these communities intensified the protests against the renaming of the neighborhood as more people took part in the unrest.


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