VIJAYAWADA: Vijayawada, which had a history of faction feuds and day-light murders, has been very peaceful for a quite some time with the buzzing commercial capital thriving progressively in business. But the ghosts of the past appeared to have returned on Sunday when an ugly gang war involving two rival student groups disturbed the tranquil calm in the city.
A horrific video of the pitched battle between the two groups where they attacked each other with stones and knives went viral sending shock waves and triggering panic among the residents. Almost as if pulling off a scene from a Tollywood film, the two groups clashed violently, leaving one person dead and many others injured in the incident.
Even as it was initially presumed to be a local student skirmish going out of hands, startling revelations surfaced later on the motive of the audacious day-light fight. The fight is now being seen as a flashpoint to a simmering property dispute centering around a land under development for a real estate venture.
Also, Thota Sandeep, who succumbed to injuries suffered in the gang war, turned out to be a former rowdysheeter and a staunch activist of the Telugu Desam Party. His association with the opposition party in Andhra Pradesh was more than a decade old and he was known for his active participation in several party activities including organizing massive bike rallies at the time of party’s ‘Mahanadu’ events.
Sandeep was also known for his role in conducting private settlement of disputes for monetary gains in the Assembly constituencies of Vijayawada East, Central and Penamaluru between 2014-19 when the TDP was in power in the state. In all these activities, Sandeep was rumoured to have received the full backing of former legislator from Vijayawada East Gadde Rammohan Rao.
Since the time he became good friends with Telugu Yuvata district chief Devineni Chandu, who is the son of Vijayawda second division corporator Devineni Aparna, his atrocities have only shot up.
Even as a post-mortem examination was due on Sandeep’s body, here is a look at the backgrounder to the gang war that shook Vijayawada out of its peaceful slumber:
With the latest gang war unleashing terror in the city, the Vijayawada police quickly swung into action and began cracking the whip against anti-social elements to restore peace. Reacting angrily to the incident, Andhra Pradesh Endowments Minister Vellampally Srinivas vowed to severely punish all those involved in the gang war.