Integrationists lay siege to Benz Circle where NH Nos. 5 and 9 meet

Even before Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde could announce the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, integrationists poured onto the streets to stage dharnas, rallies and rasta rokos.

People in all Seemandhra districts poured onto the streets to oppose the decision to divide the State.

The day began with APNGO leaders picketing the house of Vijayawada MP Lagadapati Rajagopal and later in the evening APNGOs, students, members of various JACs and rickshaw-pullers from Autonagar laid a siege to the strategic Benz Circle, where National Highway Nos. 5 and 9 meet.

The traffic on all the sides got affected with vehicles stranded for more than two hours.

According to a police officer, the queue on all the three sides- Hyderabad, Machilipatnam and Eluru was over 5 km. Telugu Desam Party Mylavaram MLA Devineni Umamaheshwara and senior leaders Gadde Ramohan Rao and Nagulmeera staged a dharna and rasto roko at NTR Circle on MG Road, before it could turn violent they were arrested as a preventive measure.

The APNGOs along with the TDP and other political parties have called for a total bandh of Krishna district on Friday and Saturday protesting against the Cabinet approval for the bifurcation of the State. Student JAC leader Devineni Avinash led a contingent of students to the Benz Circle to stage a dharna.

Agitated by the proposed decision, the students resorted to burning of tyres and tried to deflate the tyres of trucks.

The paramilitary forces and Quick Reaction Team present at the spot physically stopped the students. Mr. Avinash was arrested and released after an hour.

A visibly distraught APNGO leader A. Vidyasagar, said that the elected representatives from the Andhra region had betrayed the six crore people from Andhra Pradesh and they would be meeting in the night to chalk out the future plan.

Tense situation

Tension prevailed in the Krishna district on Thursday . Despite continuous downpour since morning, the protesters barring their political lines came on to the roads in Krishna district headquarters and raised slogans against the unexpected move by the Union Cabinet.

Samaikhyandhra JAC members took out a rally to the residence of Machilipatnam MP Konakalla Narayana Rao where they staged a sit-in though it was raining and demanded his resignation.

Simultaneously, women groups representing Municipal Employees Union and teaching community including staff of the Hindu College came on to the streets showing resolve to fight against the move.

“All the MLAs and MPs in Coastal Andhra region should resign and join the protesters as common citizens before the situation goes out of our hands,” said former Machilipatnam MLA Perni Nani.

Mr. Nani accompanied by senior YSRCP leader K. Nageswara Rao joined the ongoing relay-hunger strike at the Koneru Centre.

The YSR Congress supporters representing all the mandals in Machilipatnam constituency rushed to the Koneru Centre and promised to intensify the protest .

DGP’s directive

In the wake of Union Cabinet’s decision on Telangana note , in-charge DGP B. Durga Prasada Rao has directed the district police to step vigil in the district. “The in-charge DGP has directed us to deploy forces at State and Central government offices. Prime concern was to check vandalising of statue of important leaders,” said Superintendent of Police J. Prabhaka Rao.

Following the directive from the State police chief, District Police and City Commissoinerate police officials are also chalking out action plan to ensure smooth conduct of Dasara celebrations in urban and rural areas of the district.