Normal life was thrown out of gear in this temple town on the first day, Wednesday, of a ‘48-hour Tirupati Digbandhanam,’ the call for which was given by various joint action committees against the decision to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh.
Major thoroughfares wore a deserted look as shops and other business establishments were shut down.
Protesters blocked vehicles coming into and going out of the town by placing barricades on the arterial roads. The cotton mill area and Renigunta Road, considered the threshold for vehicles entering the city, were blocked with burning tyres, water tankers and vehicles. There was a huge traffic jam on the Renigunta highway towards Srikalahasti.
Honking horns, motorcycle-borne agitators went round the city to ensure total closure of shops and offices and in the process, smashed the glass panes of an insurance company office.
Meanwhile, Congress leader, P. Naveen Kumar Reddy, urging Samaikyandhra protesters to conduct their agitations in a Gandhian way, embarked on cleaning vehicles bearing Telangana registration numbers.
While expressing his solidarity with the cause of a united Andhra Pradesh, the PCC joint secretary cautioned JAC leaders against anti-social elements who, he said, were causing inconvenience to the people in the guise of the Samaikyandhra movement.