Stray incidents of violence in Vijayawada city marked the 48-hour bandh of Krishna district called by the Joint Action Committee for a unified State in protest against the arrest of TDP MLA Devineni Umamaheswara Rao who was on a fast-unto-death.

As the JAC called for the bandh from 6 a.m. on Friday, its activists enforced closure of commercial establishments, educational institutions, banks and public transport. The APSRTC, as a precautionary measure, suspended all its operations in the district.

The activists entered into a verbal duel with the staff of Federal Bank at Patamata when they noticed the bank functioning as usual. In the process, they damaged the windowpanes and ransacked the furniture. The pro-united State activists also took objection to classes being run in Maris Stella College and forced the management to close the institution.

The activists who indulged in the incidents of violence, including some of the Congress corporators, were arrested by the police and taken to the Patamata police station, where students sat on protest demanding their release. Notwithstanding these incidents, the bandh was total in the city and in other important towns of Krishna district.

Telugu Desam Party leader K. Yerran Naidu called on TDP MLA Devineni Umamaheswara Rao, who continued his fast from the hospital bed despite the his quickly deteriorating health, and Congress MP Lagadapati Rajagopal, whose fast-unto-death at Swaraj Maidan entered the fifth day on Friday. Mr. Naidu condemned the police action of breaking the fast. He asserted that the movement would continue until the Centre declared that Andhra Pradesh would not be bifurcated.