After a group started protesting in Andhra Pradesh's Amalapuram over the government's efforts to rename the district, violence broke out in the town and dozens of people were injured.
Protestors attacked the residence of state minister P. Viswaroop, torched vehicles, and pelted stones. His office was ransacked and police officers were also injured in the violent episode. The minister's family was unhurt and the security forces had already shifted them to a safer location.
The state government has proposed to rename the Konaseema district as Dr B.R. Ambedkar Konaseema district.
Home Minister T. Anita condemned the violence and said anti-social elements are leading the protests. She added that it is unfortunate that the decision to name the district after the father of the Indian Constitution Dr Ambedkar is opposed.
She noted that the decision was taken at the request of the people.
After the proposal to rename the district was announced, the state government issued a notification on May 18 inviting objections and suggestions. People can convey their opinion to the Konaseema district collector within 30 days.
The protest was organised by a group called Konaseema Sadhana Samithi (KSS). Hundreds of youngsters gathered at the Clock Tower and raised slogans. When the police moved to detain the protestors, some ran to the collector's office. They were chased and arrested. Stones were pelted at police vehicles carrying the violent protestors.
Protestors attacked the police personnel near Amalapuram Area Hospital with stones. Superintendent of Police K.S.S.V Subba Reddy was unharmed and the police resorted to baton charge to keep the situation from escalating.
The Konaseema district is one of the 13 districts created on April 4. It was carved out from East Godavari and Amalapuram was named its headquarters.
Some of the districts formed earlier were named after prominent personalities like freedom fighter Alluri Sitarama Raju and former chief minister and TDP founder Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao. Following suit, two of the new districts were also named after saint composer Tallapaka Annamacharya (Annamayya) and Satya Sai Baba (Sri Satya Sai).