Stones hurled at police, woman officer injured

Curfew was imposed on this town on Saturday after violence escalated with mobs destroying property and indulging in arson to protest the Union Cabinet’s decision to divide Andhra Pradesh.

The agitators made repeated attempts to storm the residence of Pradesh Congress Committee president Botcha Satyanarayana, who was away in Hyderabad.

Defying prohibitory orders under Section 144, clamped on Friday, hordes of people gathered near Mr. Satyanarayana’s house and raised slogans against him. They were upset that the leader had failed to prevent the bifurcation of the State. They hurled stones at the police. Deputy Superintendent Krishna Prasanna and half-a-dozen other policemen were injured in the stone-throwing. They were rushed to hospital.

Market Street, where Mr. Satyanarayana’s residence is located, resembled a battle zone, with the police doing their best to prevent people from entering his house.

The agitators kept up a steady barrage of stones, braving the teargas shells lobbed by the police. Towards afternoon, the violence spread to new areas.

The town wore a deserted look following the 48-hour bandh called up by the Samaikhya Rashtra Parirakshana Vedika. Agitators attacked the residence of Mr. Satyanarayana’s brother and damaged cable network equipment and windowpanes and DCC president K. Veerabhadraswamy’s house on Ring Road.

In Kadapa district, the windowpanes of the BSNL office at Railway Kodur were smashed. Mobs unleashed violence at different places in Kurnool district.

The police prevented the protesters from blocking traffic to Tirumala, arresting many who squatted at the main entrance of Alipiri.