Teachers arrested in Andhra to foil protest at CMO
Vijayawada, April 25 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh Police on Monday arrested scores of teachers heading towards Amaravati and Vijayawada to foil their planned protest at the chief minister's official residence to demand repeal of the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS).
In view of the 'Chalo CMO' call given by Andhra Pradesh Teachers' Federation (APTF), all the roads leading to the chief minister's official residence at Tadepalli were sealed with heavy deployment of police.
The entire area was out of bounds for outsiders while the locals were also advised to remain indoors as the police have made it clear that there was no permission for any protest.
Some protesters who managed to sneak into the high security area were arrested by the police. They demanded that Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy fulfill the promise made during elections to repeal CPS.
The roads leading to the chief minister's camp office were barricaded and police were using drones to monitor the situation.
Teachers heading towards Vijayawada from surrounding districts and other places in the state were stopped at checkposts and taken into custody.
The police were keeping a tight vigil at hotels, lodges, railway stations and bus stations to prevent gathering of protesters. Special checkposts were set up on roads leading to Vijayawada for checking of vehicles.
The police also imposed curbs on the national highway, Guntur-Vijayawada road and service roads and people are being allowed after checking vehicles and their identity cards.
Police are not taking any chances in the wake of massive protests by the government employees in support of their demands in Vijayawada in February. Despite police denying permission for 'Chalo Vijayawada' and erecting checkposts, thousands of employees had managed to reach Vijayawada for the massive protest on February 3. The police failure to prevent protests had led to the transfer of then Director General of Police Gautam Sawang.
Meanwhile, APTF leaders condemned the arrests of teachers across the state. They alleged that the government was adopting undemocratic means to suppress a peaceful protest.
The APTF leaders alleged that the government was going back on its promise to repeal CPS and revive the old pension scheme. They demanded immediate steps for compensation of losses being incurred by teachers.
Meanwhile, Education Minister Botsa Satyanarayana said the government has formed a committee on CPS and a decision would be taken after the committee looks into the issue. He said it was not proper on the part of APTF to give a call for laying siege to the chief minister's camp office.