Congress MLA’s car damaged; protesters lay siege to Pallam Raju’s residence; statues of leaders fenced

Heavy deployment of police forces and large scale protests were witnessed on the first day of the 48-hour bandh by YSR Congress and Telugu Desam in coastal and Rayalaseema districts against approval of separate Telangana by the Union Cabinet. The bandh was a success as it paralysed normal life in all districts, except Visakhapatnam.

A large number of Central security forces, Andhra Pradesh Special Police and the local police were pressed into service to provide security on roads in the region which were filled with protestors since the morning. Nearly 970 buses of APSRTC went off roads as the crew also joined the bandh. The government offices did not function with the employees taking to streets and the shops, establishments and educational institutions were closed.

The employees even locked the gates of Collectorates in some districts.

The protestors who included NGOs, teachers and students staged rasta roko and dharnas and formed human chain at strategic locations. The supporters of YSR Congress and TDP vied with each other in closing down shops in Ongole. They blocked traffic in Guntur.

The car of Congress MLA K.V. Nageswara Rao was damaged by angry protestors in Tanuku of West Godavari. Another MLA of the same party Kothapalli Subbarayudu joined the protest in his native Narsapur.

The police fenced the statues of national leaders in all districts to prevent them from being vandalised by the protestors.

The lawyers boycotted courts and participated in demonstrations. The Joint Action Committee of Seemandhra students gave a call for indefinite closure of schools and colleges from Saturday.

In Anantapur, the hotbed of violence earlier, the police tried to evict students from the new hostel of the Arts College but the attempt was thwarted with the intervention of leaders from several political parties.

Students organised a mock funeral in Nellore while an effigy of Congress president Sonia Gandhi was burnt in Srikakulam. The protestors laid siege to the house of Union Minister Pallam Raju in Kakinada. TDP leaders Devineni Umamaheswara Rao and Gadde Ramamohan Rao were arrested by police while staging a rasta roko in Vijayawada.