Non-Bailable Warrants (NBWs) of arrest against Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and 15 others have been issued by the First Class Judicial Magistrate of Dharmabad in Maharashtra’s Nanded district, in a case relating to 2010.

The NBWs were issued against Mr. Naidu and others for allegedly defying prohibitory orders and leading a protest against construction of the Babli irrigation project across the Godavari river by Maharashtra, in July 2010.

Mr. Naidu was the Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly in combined Andhra Pradesh at the time and headed the protest by the Telugu Desam MLAs.

They argued that the project would deprive the Telangana region of water and turn it into a desert.

Among those served notices include two Ministers now in Mr. Naidu’s Cabinet — D. Umamaheswara Rao and N. Ananda Babu — besides other leaders of erstwhile Andhra Pradesh.

The warrants were issued under Section 70 of the Cr.P.C (which prescribes the form of warrants). The court directed the police inspector of the Dharmabad police station to produce all the accused on or before September 21.

The Chief Minister was apprised about the developments while he was here on Thursday night to present silk vastrams on behalf of the Andhra Pradesh government to the temple of Lord Venkateswara in connection with the annual Brahmotsavams.

‘Did it for people’

The warrant is likely to kick up a political storm in the State against the backdrop of the Telugu Desam severing ties with the BJP.

Reacting to reports of non-bailable warrants issued against him and others linked to the Babli agitation case, Mr. Naidu on Friday asserted that they had done nothing wrong and their protest was aimed at safeguarding the interests of the people.

Firm on stand

Addressing the gathering during a public meeting after the ‘
jalasiri ki harathi
’ programme in Kurnool district on Friday, Mr. Naidu said that they had staged the protest as construction of the project would result in the desertification of northern Telangana. “We expressed our dissent as we had people’s welfare in mind,” he added.

He said they were forcibly shifted in a special flight after their arrest and a situation was created to cause inconvenience. However, they remained firm on their stand and would continue to do so, he said.

(With inputs from Kurnool)

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