The people of the fort-town seem to be unaware of ‘curfew’. The last time they had seen a curfew in the town was in 1991. Not surprisingly, many women and even children gathered outside their homes and watched as the police chased the protesters on the streets on Sunday.
As a man asked a woman to go into the house, she said: “I don’t fear the police. Botcha had hid himself in Hyderabad and has sent the police to suppress us.”
Earlier, Assistant Commissioner of Police Syed Eshak Mohammad of Visakhapatnam city, was seen asking his men to educate the protesters at Chelluru on the outskirts of Vizianagaram town. They blocked the highway with trucks and squatted on the road preventing movement of traffic.
They refused to budge even when the ACP and his men went to disperse them. Mr. Mohammad directed his men to observe restraint and advised them to educate them on ‘curfew’. “This is not Hyderabad where curfew is imposed on a regular basis,” he said. The protesters agreed to leave the place after the police struck to their word.
The police rounded off even people coming from the railway station on foot and took them to the One Town police station and detained them for a long time. Some of the policemen caught those walking on the streets and refused to let them go even after they produced their identity proof.
“The target of protesters seems to be damaging the PCC chief’s residence and to divert our (police) attention, they are damaging shops. Taking advantage of the situation, anti-social elements and rowdy gangs are looting the shops after dark,” said a policeman.