Events at one of the recently opened low cost Anna Canteens in Andhra Pradesh took a violent turn when an official lost his temper and beat up several people.

In a video that has surfaced online, Raghunatha Reddy, the Municipal Commissioner of Yemmiganur in Kurnool district was seen shoving people and hitting them. All the canteens has been experiencing heavy customer traffic ever since their inauguration on Wednesday. In the Yemmiganur canteen too, as many as 300 people thronged the hall – whose capacity is much lower – during lunch time.

Justifying himself, Reddy told The News Minute: “The hall can accommodate a crowd of 100 people. But, there were more than 300 people crammed into the hall, which resulted in a stampede-like situation. My intention was not to beat them up but to ensure the process goes smoothly. It happened on the spur of the moment.” He also stated that efforts were being made to increase the capacity of the canteens.

The Anna Canteens, modelled on the famous Amma Canteens in Tamil Nadu, serve meals for Rs 5 and are run by the Akshaya Patra Foundation.