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TONDAGI (EAST GODAVARI): Tension prevailed in Tondagi mandal and surrounding mandals of East Godavari after police arrested two activists championing an anti-Kakinada SEZ agitation in the wee hours of Monday. In retaliation to the police action, the villagers of the mandal cornered two police vehicles and more than 20 police personnel when cops entered Vakadaripet village in the morning. The agitators deflated the vehicles, while the women attacked the local SI.

The incident took place when the police in plain clothes chased a private school teacher Peketi Ramana of Vakadaripet village in the early hours to arrest him. The villagers suspected them to be goons of KSEZ management and took them into their custody. Before this, another activist Chandaka Suribabu, a tailor, was arrested in Patachodipalli village while he was sleeping in his house.

After learning that their men were taken into custody, the SI of Vaddimamida along with 10 cops entered the Vakadaripet village. Eventually, they too were taken into custody by the angry villagers, that created a tense atmosphere in the mandal. Additional forces including Rapid Action Force from Kakinada, Tuni and Annavaram reached Vakadaripet later, with a DSP rank officer and four circle inspectors. The farmers raised their voice against the illegal arrests of their men and demanded the cops to hand over their men first in return of the police personnel.

Police later, appeased the villagers and gave an assurance of releasing Suribabu by the evening. The cops also promised to arrange a meeting with the collector and SP in a couple of days to sort out the problems. With this, the villagers released the police personnel.