Press Trust of India
Hyderabad, 5 October: Normal life remained crippled for the second day today in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions where a bandh is being observed to protest the Centre’s decision to bifurcate the State.
Andhra Pradesh Non-Gazetted Officers (APNGOs) and other united-AP supporters have given a 48-hour bandh call, while Jaganmohan Reddy-led YSR Congress has called for 72-hour shutdown in the non-Telangana regions. Both protests began yesterday morning.
Educational and commercial establishments remained closed in Seemandhra (coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema), where normal life was thrown out of gear.
Dwaraka Tirumala Rao, IG (Coastal Andhra) said, they have deployed additional forces keeping in view attacks on residences and properties of some Congress leaders yesterday.
“Additional forces have been deployed in some areas and situation was under control. As long as agitation is peaceful we have no objection. But if they turn violent then we will swing into action and file cases,” he told PTI.
Sporadic incidents of violence, including attack on public and private property, were reported on the first day of the shutdown. Offices of ruling Congress came under attack from agitators in several districts.
Commercial and educational establishments belonging to PCC President Botsa Satyanarayana were also targeted and police have stepped up security at these locations and also in sensitive areas.
The pro-united Andhra employees, including the staff of state-run Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC), are already on strike since mid-August.
Meanwhile, YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy is likely to launch his fast-unto-death today against the Centre’s move.
TDP President N Chandrababu Naidu has announced an indefinite fast in New Delhi from Monday demanding “justice” for Seemandhra.
On 3 October, the Union Cabinet had decided to go ahead with creation of Telangana state from out of Andhra Pradesh.
Meanwhile, Tirupati, which attracts a large number of devotees everyday, wore a deserted look as buses are not plying to the temple town in Chittoor district in view of the ongoing stir by APSRTC employees.
Meanwhile, tension prevailed in Vizianagaram city, where police lobbed teargas shells to disperse agitators who hurled stones at men in uniform today.
Police fired tear gas shells when protesters pelted stones on them in Kothapeta and Clock Tower areas of the city in coastal Andhra.
Police have made elaborate security arrangements near APCC chief Satyanarayana’s residence in Vizianagaram, where agitators tried to lay siege yesterday.
Protesters had yesterday damaged properties of family members of Satyanarayana, who is also a minister.
Meanwhile, Visakhapatnam district witnessed rallies, road blockades and other forms of protest on the second day of the bandh. Schools, banks, commercial establishments, shopping malls, hotels and petrol outlets remained shut.