A large number of people thronged the residence of Palagani Prabhakara Rao, who breathed his last in Help Hospital on Tuesday morning, at Ayodhyanagar when the body was brought around 10 a.m. The body, kept in a glass coffin, was placed beneath a shamiyana in front of the main gate for people to pay their last respects.
All the lanes and bylanes of Ayodhyanagar were filled with cars and motorcycles and within a few minutes all the roads leading to Palagani’s house were chock-a-block with vehicles.
The traffic police swung into action and began barricading the roads. They stopped allowing vehicles inside Ayodhyanagar.
A few youngsters sporting black badges held aloft black flags and took out a rally in the vicinity raising slogans “Johar Palagani Prabhakar” and “Johar Naga Vaishnavi.”
A long queue was formed on the road and barricades were arranged to regulate the crowd. Separate queues were arranged for the VIPs and the general public.
Accompanied by Congress corporators, Mayor M.V. Ratna Bindu reached there and comforted Sai Tejesh, the 14-year-old son of Prabhakara Rao, who sat morosely near the body.
When the Mayor wanted to call on Prabhakara Rao’s widow Narmada, a few relatives told her that Narmada was kept on sedation from Monday night.
MLAs -- Malladi Vishnu and Devineni Umamaheswara Rao -- former MP Gadde Rammohan, former Minister Devineni Rajasekhar were among those who paid tributes to the late Prabhakara Rao in the morning hours. Leaders of the Left parties and corporators of the Telugu Desam Party and the Left parties, industrialists and a few officials were among those who paid a visit to the house.
Tight security was arranged at the main gate of the house and even close relatives were not allowed into the house for quite some time. A few close members of the family assisted the police in establishing the identity of other relatives who wanted to go inside the house.
Most of the news channels parked their outdoor broadcasting vans outside the house from early morning till the funeral procession left, for beaming live coverage of the visits of various leaders. Some of the people close to the Palagani family held a section of the media responsible for Prabhakara Rao’s death on the grounds that the television coverage made him weak and sick.