IANS | MSN News | 20/07/2010
The 116-seater Airbus A319 chartered aircraft left Mumbai for Aurangabad Tuesday evening even as Naidu and his cavalcade were driven straight to the Chikhalthana Airport, instead of the Harsul Central Jail, as originally planned. The official said that as soon as the relevant formalities are completed and the orders are received releasing the TDP activists, the flight would take off for Hyderabad. The motorcade carrying Naidu and his supporters was greeted with angry Shiv Sainiks shouting slogans outside the airport, as security personnel struggled to keep them under control.
The Maharashtra government on late Tuesday dropped all charges against Naidu and his supporters and arranged to send them back to Andhra Pradesh in the night apprehending law and order problems. "The process to withdraw all charges against Naidu and 65 others is currently underway and we hope to complete it in a couple of hours," an official said. Official sources in Mumbai said the move was prompted by state-wide protests against Naidu and the TDP’s anti-Babli Dam agitation. Soon after Naidu’s cavalcade left Dharmabad for Aurangabad, nearly 475 km away, it was greeted by protests, slogan shouting, stone pelting and black flags all along the route.
Earlier in the morning, some alleged TDP supporters entered into a scuffle with top police and civil officials in Dharmabad town of Nanded district, where they had been lodged in an Industrial Training Institute since Friday. Even as the government decided to shift them to Aurangabad, the Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena adopted an aggressive stance and upped their anti-TDP stance. Hundreds of activists from both parties squatted on the roads reading to the Harsul Central, on the outskirts of the historic city. The issue has also rocked the Maharashtra legislature since the past two days.