For the second day running, the coastal and Rayalaseema districts boiled due to the agitation against announcement of separate Telangana with the protestors organising bandhs and resorting to arson and violence.
The situation in Anantapur district was particularly tense as thousands of people poured onto the roads. Police resorted to a lathicharge at Dharmavaram railway station when attempts of the force to clear the tracks of people who squatted resulted in stone pelting.
The demonstrators also pelted stones on the house of local MLA Kethireddy Venkatrami Reddy demanding him to take up the lathicharge with officials. The house of Guntakal MLA Madhusudhan Gupta was surrounded by an angry crowd.
The violent mob burnt tyres and damaged municipal property in Anantapur town where the statues of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi were desecrated yesterday. Agitating students on Sri Krishnadevaraya University campus were lathicharged as they continued to whip up tension with burning of effigies and rasta roko. All major towns in the district, including Kadiri, Hindupur and Tadipatri, were paralysed as common public remained indoors.
Agitators went on the rampage in Rajahmundry burning flexes, effigies and statues of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. Some Youth Congress workers entered the departure terminal of Madhurapudi airport where a couple of them also climbed a cell tower threatening to commit suicide. They were later brought down with the intervention of senior leaders. Traffic came to a standstill on the national highway near Rajahmundry for three hours due to a rasta roko.
The statue of Indira Gandhi was burnt and that of Rajiv Gandhi defaced in Proddatur town of Kadapa district. A garland of slippers was placed on Rajiv Gandhi’s statue whose hand was also broken. Two YSR Congress activists doused themselves in kerosene but police prevented them from lighting themselves up in Kadapa where the district Congress office was stoned.
Violence marred the second day of protest against division of State in Kurnool district on Thursday. The Collectorate and surrounding places resembled a war zone for two hours as protest ran amuck at several places. Educational institutions remained closed and students and managements of various institutions took part in the demonstrations.
A violent mob attacked and demolished the statue of Rajiv Gandhi at C. Camp centre and Dhone to protesting the bifurcation of the State. Both groups seeking unified Andhra Pradesh and separate Rayalaseema struck at different places and caused havoc.
At the Collectorate, the mob pelted stones on the police forcing them to resort to lathi-charge. Several persons sustained simple injuries in the police action. An unruly mob damaged the fence around the NTR state at the collectorate. Later, a mob attacked the office of DM&HO and broke the glass panes. The protesters threw stones at a hotel owned by a minister at Rajvihar centre and broke the glasses in the city. At Dhone, a mob attacked the house of Minister Erasu Pratap Reddy and broke window panes. The protesters demanded the resignation of the minister in support of unified Andhra Pradesh.
DGP warns people
Reports of intensified agitation in Guntur, Tirupati, Srikakulam and Nellore also poured in here. Director General of Police V. Dinesh Reddy has warned that people vandalising the statues of national leaders will be dealt with seriously.