Judicial custody of Naidu, others extended

Nanded/Hyderabad, July 19 (Calcutta Tube) A court in Maharashtra’s Nanded district Monday extended the judicial custody of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) president N. Chandrababu Naidu and 74 other party leaders.

However, the duration of extension is still not known. The leaders again rejected the Dharmabad magistrate’s suggestion to take bail and return to Andhra Pradesh. The magistrate called the leaders at Dharmabad ITI as their two-day judicial custody came to an end.

All the leaders are likely to be shifted to Aurangabad Jail later.

Naidu told the magistrate that they were illegally arrested by Maharashtra Police in Andhra Pradesh territory. According to TDP leaders, their party chief said they were not terrorists and had not committed any crime. He made it clear that they would not return without visiting the Babli project being built by Maharashtra across the Godavari River.

Meanwhile, the condition of at least five TDP leaders deteriorated during the day-long hunger strike, demanding that the Maharashtra government allow them to visit the Babli dam.

The condition of Abdul Gani, legislator from Hindupur, is stated to be serious and he had to administered saline.

Naidu and his supporters, including MPs and legislators, were arrested Friday when they tried to proceed towards the dam. They alleged that Maharashtra is building the dam illegally and this would deprive Andhra Pradesh of its due share of Godavari waters.

The magistrate Saturday sent the TDP leaders to judicial custody after they refused to seek bail. The leaders, who spent the third night in Dharmabad ITI, have vowed not to return without visiting the Babli project.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan has rejected their demand, saying this would create law and order problems.

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