Mohan Babu, an actor and the founder of the Sri Vidyanikethan Educational Institutions, was placed under house arrest, on the 23rd of March, by the Tirupati Police. Mohan Babu accused the Chandrababu Naidu Government of withholding the fee reimbursement worth close to Rs. 18 crores.
On the 23rd of March, Mohan Babu and hundreds of students gathered outside a college in Tirupati. Holding a peaceful protest, the group demanded the reimbursement due to colleges from the Naidu led Telugu Desam Party (TDP) Government.
According to reports, the actor approached local officials for permission to hold the protest. However, Mohan Babu was denied permission under the Model Code of Conduct (MCC,) which was deployed to ensure a protest and agenda free election.
Despite the denial, the protesters still went ahead. Just when they started making their point, the Tirupati Rural Police came on the scene and cordoned off Mohan Babu’s house and the institution, making it difficult for people to leave. The Tirupati Police were forced to place the actor under house arrest until things calmed down. Babu and Lakshmi Manchu, his daughter, both protested against this move, saying it was a tactic to scare the students, thereby making an indirect reference to the Naidu Government.
“I repeatedly asked for reimbursement of fees for engineering colleges but the Andhra Pradesh government remained a mute spectator to the pathetic conditions of the students. The State Government cannot remain adamant on an issue that is adversely affecting the students,” he later told mediapersons. “The students cannot afford the fee which amounts to crores of rupees and the government has to shoulder responsibility,” Babu said when speaking about why he is demanding the Government to pay their dues.
Since their inception, the Mohan Babu led institutions give 25 % of its students free education. However, because of the Government’s failure in the reimbursement of fees, they have not been able to pay their staff salaries regularly. With additional police security around the actor’s house, the protest has been thwarted for now.
Stay tuned for further updates about the protest.