Agitation by students, political parties and others seeking to keep Andhra Pradesh as a unified State continued in the city and district on Wednesday. More organisations supported the agitation and protest programmes to be held in the next few days have been chalked out.
Even as the agitation continued educational institutions, barring Andhra University which is the focal point of the agitation, shops and establishments functioned normally but the move to bifurcate the State and its repercussions continued to be the topic of discussion among the people.
There was tension for some time on the AU campus and later at the King George Hospital premises, when students on indefinite fast were shifted to the hospital and 11 fasting students already admitted there on Monday night threatened to jump from the terrace of the hospital.
In the morning five students, who commenced an indefinite fast since Monday night near the Gandhiji statue in AU campus, were shifted by the police to KGH.
After removing the students, women police constables along with a Sub-Inspector were made to occupy the chairs of the fasting students to prevent other students to take their place but about a dozen students sat in front of them and commenced their fast. Soon a large number of students gathered near the spot and raised slogans, which also included “students-women police unity Zindabad”. Later the policewomen vacated the chairs. Students raised slogans against Ministers P. Chidambaram and Sabita Indira Reddy.
They also protested with AU Registrar P.V.G.D. Prasada Reddy that the police were trying to disrupt their agitation and wanted the police force to be withdrawn from the campus. Prof. Reddy convinced them that the police were present to prevent anti-social elements entering the campus.
They were also reminded that Vice-Chancellor B. Satyanarayana did not agree to declare holidays for the campus.
At KGH, the fasting students went to the terrace and threatened to jump from there but were persuaded by the police, doctors and others to go back to their rooms in the special ward.
Leaders of the Congress and TDP like K. Yerran Naidu, Dadi Veerabhadra Rao, Dronamraju Srinivasa Rao, P. Janardhana Rao, Malla Vijaya Prasad, former VUDA Chairman P.S.N. Raju and others visited KGH. The students refused to give up their fast and instead wanted the Government to allow them to die if it did not keep the State united.
Superintendent of KGH MVRJ Somayajulu said the 11 students brought earlier were weak. All the students refused to get treated. TDP State vice-president Bandaru Satyanarayana Murthy conducted a Padayatra from Pendurthy, nearly 25 km away, to KGH demanding a unified AP.
Praja Rajyam MLAs Ganta Srinivasa Rao, P. Ramesh Babu and Ch. Venkataramaiah along with party leaders staged a demonstration by attiring themselves as Mr. Chidambaram. Earlier, Mr. Venkataramaiah along with his party workers and trade union leaders blocked the main gate of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant for about one-and-a-half hours. Cable operators took out a rally.
At Anakapalle, jaggery market was closed after the merchants held a dharna.
Alumni of Andhra University and Pravasandhrulu expressed solidarity with the students fasting at the KGH. A delegation led by Sameer (Munna) called on the fasting students and raised slogans in support of the demand.