Congress president Sonia Gandhi expressed concern over the violent turn taken by two Left parties' protests in Andhra Pradesh on Saturday, with at least eight people being killed in police firing, and sought a report from Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy.
Gandhi appealed to all to shun violence and bring about peace, a party spokesperson said after a two-hour meeting of the Congress Working Committee in New Delhi.
The Communist Party of India and the Communist Party of India-Marxist, which support the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government from outside, have been agitating for the distribution of government land and housing sites among the poor in Andhra Pradesh.
A shutdown called by them in Khammam district saw violence as police resorted to caning and firing, allegedly after being stoned by Left activists.
Rajasekhara Reddy of the Congress soon ordered a judicial inquiry in the matter even as the two parties demanded strict action against the police officers responsible for the deaths.