Andhra Pradesh chief minister appeals for peace

Hyderabad, August 1 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy Thursday appealed to people in Rayalaseema and Andhra regions to maintain peace while staging protests and has also directed police to exercise restraint in dealing with protestors.

The chief minister directed the chief secretary, police chief and police officials of the districts to take all measures to ensure that the law and order is maintained.

He reviewed the law and order situation with Chief Secretary P. K. Mohanty, Director General of Police V. Dinesh Reddy and other top officials, said a statement from the chief minister's office.

Kiran Kumar Reddy asked the police officials to be careful in the "crowd management" while dealing with the democratic protests. He, however, directed them to deal firmly with those vandalizing the statues of the national leaders and damaging government and private property.

He asked police to take precautionary measures to prevent attacks on the statues of late prime ministers Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi and other leaders.

In a separate statement, the DGP also appealed to people to maintain peace. He said while people have a right to protest within a democratic process, no one has a right to infringe on the rights of the individuals and create lawlessness.

"It is highly objectionable and unbecoming to indulge in vandalism of the statues of the national leaders and all such persons and those behind such acts will be very seriously dealt with," said a statement from the DGP's office.

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