Protests rocked Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema districts on Wednesday following the bandh call given by the Seemandhra Joint Action Committee in protest against the bifurcation of the State even as Congress MLA of Salur in Vizianagaram district P. Rajanna Dora sent in his resignation and a home guard committed suicide in the same district.

The protests turned violent in Anantapur town where thousands of people filled the streets and tried to burn the statues of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi after ransacking the local Congress office.

One of the statues was completely damaged. A person also attempted immolation but the police doused the fire and shifted him to hospital. Police lobbed teargas shells to quell the mob. The protesters also stopped a goods train at Dharmavaram and stopped counting of votes for the gram panchayat elections at Bukkarayasamudram elsewhere in the district.

The home guard -- S. Prasad -- consumed poison and died at Tatipudi in Vizianagaram district, reportedly for the cause of united Andhra Pradesh. Rallies and formation of human chain were a common sight in several towns of coastal and Rayalaseema districts.

The Patna Express coming from Ernakulam was detained in Nellore and the employees of the Secretariat who were divided on regional lines organised separate processions on the premises for and against the decision. A car was set on fire by a mob in Tirupati and the Revenue Divisional Officer’s stoned at Rajahmundry.

Telugu Desam MLA D. Narendra Kumar led his supporters in burning effigies of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi at Ponnur.