Maharashtra policemen on Tuesday compelled Telugu Desam president and Opposition leader N Chandrababu Naidu to leave ITI Bhavan at Dharmabad in Nanded district where he was lodged along with 74 other party leaders and transported all of them towards Harsur jail in Aurangabad.
Naidu and several other leaders were forced into a van at Dharmabad, where they have been staying in a hall at the ITI Bhavan without adequate facilities and toilets for the past few days after they were arrested last week. The leaders are reported to have crossed the border to enter Maharashtra despite warnings from that state government.
Naidu and 74 of his followers insisted that they be allowed to visit Babhli dam on the river Godavari - the source of all conflict between the two neighbouring states. The legislators including women were dragged out of the hall, some of them roughed up and were thrown onto private buses, the memebers said.
According to Naidu, Maharashtra has intended to grab more than its share of water with its construction of barrages over the river Godavari at Babli, and that this will adversely affect the farmers in Andhra Pradesh's Telangana region. Police cane-charged some TDP activists, who tried to prevent the move. He was taken in a private bus accompanied by four police vans with State Reserve Police (SRP) personnel in it at about 10 a.m.
Naidu's protest bus yatra to Maharashtra comes a week before the electorate votes for 12 Assembly seats in Telangana region.
Naidu declined to go on bail as suggested by Dharmabad magistrate on Monday, stating, "We are honourable citizens. We are Telugu people who have strong self-respect. We were deceived by Maharashtra Police and illegally detained by them, that too in our territory in total violation of Constitution. ..we shall lay down our lives, if required, to protect the interests of our state but we shall never seek bail."