The CPI district unit on Friday organised a ‘rail roko' (stopping of trains as protest) demanding that the a railway zone be carved out with Visakhapatnam as headquarters or as an alternative, merge the Waltair division with the South Central Railway. A total of 57 party men, including district secretary J.V. Satyanarayana Murthy, were arrested.

A number of CPI workers took out a rally from the party district office at Allipuram and entered the station premises from the main entrance. Led by Mr. Satyanarayana Murthy, they squatted on the track at the RRI cabin and stopped the Prasanthi, Ratnachal and Howrah mail trains.

As the protest continued with some jostling occurred between the agitators and police.

Mr. Satyanarayana Murthy, corporator AJ Stalin and other party workers, including women, were arrested.

Mr. Satyanarayana Murthy said at the rally that in spite of being the top revenue earner, Visakhapatnam had been receiving step-motherly treatment and MPs and MLAs and railway officials were neglecting the overwhelming opinion of the people of the region.

‘Neglected'

The promise of giving due recognition and sanctioning new trains in the railway budget proved to be empty talk.

The agitation would be further intensified and a common cause would be made with all the political parties in the north Andhra, he warned.

Among the others arrested were A. Vimala, M. Paidiraju, P. Gangabhavani, D. Markandeyulu, G.Ramgopal, Balepalli Venkataramana, P.S. Narayana, Meka Satyanarayana, Kasireddi Satyanarayana, Golugonda mandal president B.V. Ramana, AIYF district secretary R.Dorababu and others.

District assistant secretary Chalasani Raghavendra Rao and AP Mahila Samakhya district honorary president V. Prabhavathi participated.

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