Agitation to protect the historic monument, Havelock Bridge, began on Tuesday with hundreds of people gathering at Pushkar Ghat here to oppose the decision of Railway Board to auction the bridge.

The signature campaign, which was launched by a private news channel, was largely attended by leaders from different parties and organisations. V. Sankar, president of the Press Club, led the programme in which former minister Gorantla Butchaiah Chowdary, Ganni Krishna (TDP), T.K. Visweswara Reddy (YSR Congress), R. Chandrakala (Loksatta Party), Arun (CPI-M), BJP urban president Kshatriya Balasubrahmanyam, president of Chamber of Commerce, Rajahmundry, Nandepu Srinivas, and A. Suresh, general manager, River Bay Hotel, participated.

Meanwhile, Andhra Kesari Yuvajana Samiti, which spearheaded many agitations earlier to protect the culture and heritage of Rajahmundry, decided to approach the court to protect the Havelock Bridge. Sannidhanam Sastry, president of samiti, told The Hindu that they wanted to adopt two-pronged strategy on this issue.

As part of it public interest litigation will be filed in High Court and public opinion will be gathered by conducting Round Table with a cross section of people and organisations, he said.