The bandh, organised in response to the call given by the APNGOs Association, to protest against bifurcation of the State, hardly had any impact in the city on Friday.
Protests were held by lawyers, doctors and some other groups but normal life was not affected as RTC buses and autorickshaws plied as usual. Shops and business establishments functioned normally barring some malls and a few other shops, which downed their shutters. Some private schools declared a holiday while others conducted classes.
Lawyers of the city garlanded the statue of B.R. Ambedkar at LIC junction and paid tributes to him on the occasion of his death anniversary. A public meeting was held where the lawyers termed the ongoing bifurcation of the state ‘illegal’ and ‘unconstitutional’. Later, they took out a rally to the District Court premises and held a meeting in the Bar Association Hall where it was decided to intensify the agitation.
The Bar Association Hall, the Central Administrative Building, State Bank of Hyderabad and the Post Office on the District Court premises were closed and the employees asked to vacate the premises.
The advocates blocked the Main Road outside the Court complex by squatting on the road. RTC buses and other vehicles were diverted by the police in view of the protest.
The advocates took out a rally to Jagadamba junction and got the shops closed on the way. Assistant Commissioner of Police (East) D.N. Mahesh, Inspectors Neelayya and Mallikarjuna Rao pleaded with the striking lawyers to clear the road and allow traffic. The protest was led by senior advocate MSS Sastry (88), Kuppili Muralidhar, Shaik Shariff, K.S. Suresh Kumar, Sanapala Muralikrishna, Ganta Venkata Rao, G.E. Prasad and women advocates Jaha Ara, K. Manjula, P. Bhavani, KVN Sashikala and Padmaja.
The participants raised slogans demanding that the State be kept united.
Government doctors staged a dharna opposite the KGH main gate and held up traffic for sometime in protest against the bifurcation.
Government Doctors Association state president P. Shyam Sundar said that doctors, barring those on emergency duties, in all Government Hospitals in the 13 districts struck work.
They would continue strike on Saturday and Sunday also. “A decision will be taken on intensifying the stir from Monday onwards,” Dr. Shyam Sundar said.
Andhra University postponed all examinations and the revised dates of examinations would be announced later.
AP NGO s Association district secretary T. Gopalakrishna, city president Venkateswara Rao, district president K. Eswara Rao and office-bearer Jawahar held up the traffic at the Collectorate junction. They raised slogans ‘Sonia, down down’ and ‘stop bifurcation’. The association members launched a relay fast on Thursday.