Barring a few incidents of violence at the institutions that showed reluctance to observe bandh, the first day of the two-day bandh called by the Joint Action Committee (JAC) for United Andhra Pradesh passed off peacefully in Krishna district on Friday.
Most of the institutions observed bandh voluntarily, while a few others downed the shutters as the activists from the JAC visited every nook and corner to ensure that their call was responded to.
Many shops and establishments were not opened during morning hours, while a few others took the risk of resuming their business in the afternoon. The activists, who went around on motorcycles, forced the traders to down the shutters. The roads wore a deserted look as public transport was not available.
With the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation suspending all its services, commuters had to depend on auto-rickshaws. Auto-rickshaw drivers had a field day, charging double the normal fares. It was the same situation at the few tea shops that were opened, with the vendors doubling the price of common man’s beverage.
Educational institutions, banks, government and private offices, cinema theatres and shopping complexes remained closed throughout the day. Except the establishments selling medicines and milk, all other shops were closed. The advocates, who observed bandh voluntarily by not attending to the court sessions, staged a dharna on the road in front of the court complex, demanding unified Andhra Pradesh. A scuffle took place between the followers of MLA Yelamanchili Ravi and a few advocates, which led to the staging of another dharna by the advocates. In the entire Krishna district, barring the city limits, as many as 115 incidents related to the bandh were reported during the day. There were 35 rasta rokos staged in various parts of the district and 20 rallies were taken out by the activists. As many as 45 relay hunger strike camps were arranged and human chains were formed in seven places. JAC president and former Minister Mandali Buddha Prasad said the bandh would continue on Saturday too and the future course of action would be announced on Saturday evening. Film actor Mohan Babu would visit the city on Saturday and express his solidarity with MP Lagadapati Rajagopal, who is on indefinite hunger strike.