The 48-hour bandh call given by the Samaikyandhra Joint Action Committee (JAC) of Punganur town, 70 km from here, commenced in the early hours of Monday, paralysing normal life as the protesters blocked the four prime routes passing through the town.
The routes connecting Bangalore, Tirupati, Kurnool and Madanapalle were blocked by throwing logs, thorns and burning tyres on the roads. The impact of the bandh was so severe that even tea stalls and small bunks were closed, while auto-rickshaws too went off the roads. The traffic police took steps to divert the highway vehicles from the outskirts, but hundreds of vehicles got stranded. Hundreds of agitators, representing various sections like students, teachers, NGOs and political parties, took to streets one after the other since morning and organised the bandh. Several motorists from Karnataka, who were unaware of the bandh, had a harrowing time searching for diversions after reaching the outskirts. The locally famous Boyakonda temple wore a deserted look with no devotees seen around, as against its regular rush in thousands. The Punganur JAC leaders said the bandh would continue till Tuesday evening.