A rally was taken out by lawyers of the city as part of the agitation to keep the State united. Hundreds of lawyers and judicial employees participated in the rally braving the rain. The rally which started from the District Court complex passed through Old Jail Road, Asilametta, Rama Talkies, Maddilapalem, Satyam Junction, Gurudwara, Seethammapeta, Ambedkar statue (LIC junction), Dabagardens and back.

The participants formed human chains at major junctions on the way and held up traffic for sometime. At Maddilapalem junction, they held up traffic for about 30 minutes and organised a meeting. Visakhapatnam Bar Association president N.V. Badarinath warned that the Centre would be taught a lesson by the people if it tries to divide the Telugu State which was achieved after several sacrifices made by the stalwart leaders.

Cheemalapati Shekar said that the decision to divide the State was against the wishes of the people. He alleged that AICC president Sonia Gandhi decided to bifurcate the State with a selfish motive. He said that the people of Seemandhra were prepared to even sacrifice their lives for the cause of keeping the State united.

Andhra Pradesh Bar Council members S. Krishna Mohan, B.V.R Murthy, Ch. Madhavilatha and advocates S. Subbi Reddy, Manjulatha and Anuradha were among those who participated.

The Bar Council members garlanded the statues of Mahatma Gandhi, Telugu Talli and B.R. Ambedkar. APSRTC union leaders M.V.R. Murthy and N. Narayana Rao participated in the rally and extended their support.

Meanwhile, the relay hunger strike launched by lawyers launched by lawyers continued for the 52-day on Friday. Human Rights Council State secretary M. Shyam Prasad and council members visited the hunger strike camp and expressed solidarity with the striking lawyers.

Teachers of Gurukul Schools took out a rally from the Gandhi statue at Asilametta to the Collectorate protesting against the proposal for bifurcation of the State.

Cultural garjana

A cultural garjana was organised on the banner of Civil Societies NGOs Action Committee on the Beach Road near the YMCA. A dhimsa dance was presented under the aegis of Dhimsa Foundation.

Dances and folk songs advocating the cause of integrated Andhra Pradesh were presented on the occasion.

Honorary secretary of Vizag Film Society Narava Prakasa Rao, CEO of Nature, an NGO, S. Balaraju, Samaikhyandhra JAC leaders Adari Kishore, Lagudu Govind and J.T. Rama Rao were present.

Banks and Central Government offices in the city were closed on the second day on Friday as NMU leaders and activists of APSRTC went around and picketed the offices.

The NMU leaders formed into teams and picketed the offices of BSNL, India Post, Income Tax and nationalised banks at various areas in Gajuwaka, Steel Plant, Simhachalam, Maddilapalem, MVP Colony, Siripuram, Dwaraka Nagar and Waltair.

The tents erected by various JACs and political parties at the Gandhi statue as part of the Samaikhyandhra agitation were removed by the police on Friday.

Join stir

Officials and employees of various wings of the Marketing Department joined the strike in support of Samaikyandhra on Friday.

Employees and officials of Central Marketing Fund, Marketing Committees and rytu bazaars from four districts of Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam and East Godavari took out a rally from Gopalapatnam Ryotu Bazar to NAD and returned.

Regional Joint Director R. Lakshmanudu, deputy director Sudhakar and executive engineer Srinivas and assistant director V. Ravi Kumar led the protest in which around 800 people participated.

Later, at a meeting at the rytu bazaar it was resolved that during the strike period protests would be organised highlighting the demand for Samaikyandhra.

Relay fast continues

Continuing their relay fast for the 19th day, Gajuwaka Bar Association on Friday deplored the statement of Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde that the note on bifurcation of Telangana was ready.

Association president V. Eswara Rao said it would be suicidal for them if Union Ministers and MPs did not resign at least now.

He and secretary M. Pattabhi Rama Rao led advocates in getting closed branches of various banks as a part of the agitation programme.