CPI(M), CPI and the Telugu Desam Party organise bandh
Effigies of Chief Minister and DGP burnt
VISAKHAPATNAM: A bandh was observed in the Visakha agency area on Wednesday in protest against the alleged gang-rape of 11 Kondu women at Vakapalli in G. Madugula mandal on Monday.
The bandh was total and peaceful in Paderu, Hukumpeta, Peda Bayalu, Munchingput, G. Madugula, Dumbriguda, Anantagiri, Araku and other mandals while it was partial in Chintapalli.
The CPI(M), CPI, and the Telugu Desam Party, along with Girijan students and women associations, organised the bandh.
In Paderu, workers and leaders of political parties did not allow even the two-wheelers to ply on the roads till late in the afternoon. Effigies of the Chief Minister and the Director General of Police were burnt at Munchingput.
In Araku Valley, a major tourist centre, the bandh was total at tourist spots like the Borra caves and Padmavathi Gardens. A bus carrying AP Tourism’s rail-cum-road package tourists was stopped as it entered Araku Valley and was allowed to go only after 3 p.m.
Meanwhile, the 11 rape victims returned to Vakapalli on Tuesday night. TDP MLA Ch. Ayyanna Patrudu, former MLA K. Chittinaidu and other party leaders called on them.
CPI (M) district secretary Ch. Narasinga Rao, thanking people for making the bandh a success. He said statements of the Home Minister and the DGP that allegation of gang rape are false had angered the Girijans.
The CPI (Maoist) called for a bandh on Aug. 27 to protest the incident. This was announced by the east division committee member, Ganesh, at a press conference he held in the agency area on Tuesday night.
Hyderabad Special Correspondent adds: Protests continued on Wednesday even as the police arrested leaders and activists of Andhra Pradesh Mahila Samakhya and Girijana Samakhya when they staged a dharna at the busy Narayanguda junction.
Members of the CPI-affiliated women’s and tribal organisations took out a rally from the AITUC office this morning raising slogans against the police for indulging in the “heinous act.”
Slogan-shouting activists criticised Director-General of Police M.A. Basith for defending the police and trying to cover up the crime by claiming it to be a “deliberate ploy” of Maoists to stop combing operations. Angered over this, they staged a sit in at the busy junction disrupting traffic that came to a stand still for some time. As the activists attempted to break the blockade, police physically lifted them out of the place.