(Image source from: The Wire)
Maharashtra local court has issued an arrest warrant against N Chandrababu Naidu, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, and 15 others in a 2010 case related to an agitation by them over the Babli project across river Godavari.
The judicial first class judge of Dharmabad in Nanded district, N R Gajbhiye, issued the order, directing police to apprehend all the accused and produce them in the court by September 21.
Then in the opposition in the united Andhra Pradesh, Naidu and others had been arrested and lodged in Pune jail in connection with the agitation staged by them near the Babli project site in Maharashtra, opposing it on the ground that it would affect the people downstream. All were released later though they did not seek bail.
The court order, dated July 5 and expected to be executed by August 16 but corrected to September 21, was issued on a petition filed by a Maharashtra resident.
Besides Naidu, Social Welfare Minister N Anand Babu, state Water Resources Minister Devineni Umamaheswara Rao and former MLA (Member of Legislature) G Kamalakar (who subsequently joined the Telangana Rashtra Samithi) were among the Telugu Desam Party workers booked in the case.
Including assault or criminal force, they have been charged with the Indian Penal Code offenses, to deter public servant from discharge of duty, voluntarily causing hurt by unsafe arms or means, act endangering life or personal safety of others, criminal intimidation among others.
Naidu was the opposition leader in the united Andhra Pradesh at that time and the case has been pending trial all these years.
Reacting to the news about the court order, Naidu's son and state Information Technology Minister N Lokesh said his father and other TDP leaders would attend the court.
"He fought to protect the interests of Telangana. He even refused to seek bail when he was arrested," Lokesh said.
The chief minister is currently camping in Tirumala near Tirupati, attending the annual brahmotsavam of Lord Venkateswara temple there.
By Sowmya Sangam