A drone flying over Telugu Desam Party (TDP) chief and former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu’s residence in Amaravati on Friday led to a row as the party’s leaders and workers congregated at the premises, claiming that operating the aerial vehicle over Naidu’s house was a “breach of security”.
The police baton-charged the protesters and detained them before they were later released. The police has also taken two people who were operating the drone into custody.
The YRSCP government has denied the TDP’s allegations and said it had hired an agency to take photos and videos using a drone of the flooding on the banks of Krishna river — Naidu’s residence, Lingamaneni guest house, is situated on the riverbank in Undavalli.
Naidu, who is currently in Hyderabad, lodged a complaint claiming breach of security with Andhra Pradesh’s Director General of Police, Gautham Sawang. The former CM demanded and explanation to how the drone was allowed to fly in a high-security zone.
The former CM has been accorded ‘Z+’ category security. After being elected earlier this year, Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy had scaled down Naidu’s security cover. On Wednesday, the Andhra Pradesh High Court had directed his government to not only restore, but increase the cover to the TDP chief.
TDP leader Devineni Avinash first arrived at the guest house in the morning, allegedly after being tipped off about the drone. Soon, more workers and leaders joined him. “How can they allow a drone to fly around and scan the area in this high security zone? The residence belongs to a party chief who has been given Z+ security. This is breach of security. The government is trying to intimidate us…,” Avinash said.
Minister for Irrigation and Water Resources P Anil Kumar said the government was studying the extent of flooding in the area. “We are just trying to understand the extent of flooding… Water level is increasing in the Prakasham Barrage (in Vijayawada) and we want to initiate relief measures by understanding where the flooding is occurring. I don’t know what TDP leaders and Chandrababu Naidu are afraid of. Everyone already knows that water entered into the compound of the bungalow and Naidu’s staff has placed sand bags. The TDP is unnecessarily making an issue of this. My department had given permission to the agency to use the drone,’’ Anil Kumar said.
On Wednesday, the water level rose sharply in Undavalli and entered the guest house premises. A video, allegedly shot by the drone on Friday and put out by the YSRCP on social media, appears to focus mostly on the area where Naidu’s bungalow is located.