Protest rallies, human chain, dharnas continue on 13th day of stir
A total bandh seems imminent in the city on Tuesday in response to the call given by various JACs. The managements of most schools have declared a holiday on Tuesday. RTC unions have already announced their decision to go on strike from Tuesday. AP NGOs JAC has given a call to all departments to observe the bandh for keeping the state united. District Education Officer K. Krishnaveni maintained that Government schools would function as usual on Tuesday.
“We are planning to observe closure of schools between August 13 and 18. The plan is to observe bandh in each district on a different day. All schools in the city and district have been asked to observe bandh on Tuesday,” AP Private Schools Association state president KSN Murthy said.
He said that a rally was planned with students of different schools in the city on Wednesday and it was decided not to hold any competitions on Independence Day. However, the flag hoisting function would be held as usual.
The traffic jams and diversion of private vehicles and RTC buses through the bylanes resulted due to protests on the highway and other main roads, led to the congestion of the bylanes on Monday morning. Some of the petrol bunks were seen closed on Monday evening itself. Panic filling was seen at other petrol bunks as two-wheelers and cars were seen making a beeline for petrol and diesel.
This seemed to have given the public a taste of what to expect on Tuesday.
The Vizagapatam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) has called upon all traders in Visakhapatnam to support the bandh call given by the Samaikhyandhra JAC and on the burning issue of bifurcation of the state. VCCI secretary M.V. Narayana Rao called upon the traders to observe a voluntary bandh on Tuesday to register their protest against the unilateral bifurcation of the state.
Journalists join hands
A rally was organised under the auspices of the Visakha Journalistla Samithi from the Gandhi statue opposite GVMC to Jagadamba junction on Monday. The rally was led by samithi chief convener V.V. Ramana Murthy and convener Gantla Srinu Babu.
RTC unions, Lawyers Association, Andhra University Student JAC, AP Government Doctors’ Association, Doctors JAC, APNGO Association, Greater Visakha BC Sangham, GVMC Water Supply and Engineering wings, Private Schools JAC and EPDCL JAC expressed their solidarity with the journalists.
The participants formed a human chain at Jagadamba junction and held up traffic.
A dharna was organised by the AP Government Doctor’s Association opposite the KGH gate on Tuesday also. The participants covered their heads with black cloths and raised slogans denouncing Sonia Gandhi and Seemandhra leaders for the sorry state of affairs in the State.
Association state secretary (Andhra region) Pidakala Shyam Sundar said that the agitation would be further intensified from Tuesday. Protests and rallies were organised by representatives of the AU Non-Teaching Staff, NGOs and students on the university campus.
Plea to private bus operators
APSRTC Employees Union that called for strike from midnight has demanded that private bus operators association also should call for a bandh.
A total of 2,000 buses were operating long-distance services and if they did not call a halt to operations, the union with the support of Samaikyandhra activists would stop them, APSRTC EU Samaikyandhra Porata Committee convener Damodara Rao said in a statement.
He also urged the drivers of hired buses in the 123 depots to participate in the strike.