Staff Reporter

Trains detained, traffic on NH-7 disrupted, 30 leaders and activists of CPI (M) arrested in Anantapur

ANANTAPUR: Normal life was thrown out of gear as a near total bandh was observed in the district on Friday in response to a call given by TDP and Left parties in protest against the petroleum hike. All commercial establishments, government offices, banks and other central government organisations remained closed all over the district. The APSRTC buses were also kept off the road till evening.

Trains were detained by the Left parties’ activists at Hindupur and Anantapur as part of the protest and the traffic on NH-7 was also disrupted as a rasta roko was staged at Gooty. About 30 leaders and activists of CPI (M) including district secretary of the party G. Obulakonda Reddy and town secretary V. Rambhupal were arrested in the railway station here as they detained New Delhi-Bangalore Karnataka Express train. The CPI activists detained Mysore-Jaipur Express train and also detained Guntur-Yeshwanthpur passenger train at Hindupur.

President of the District Congress Committee P. Venugopal Reddy told newspersons thatseveral Congress State Governments were providing some relief to the people by bearing the hike on LPG cylinders.

Normal life not affected

Tirupati Special Correspondent writes: The State-wide bandh passed-off peacefully in the temple city of Tirupati. Normal life by and large remained unaffected.

What has apparently taken the sting off the agitation was the announcement of the State government to step-in to bear the entire burden of Rs.50/- the centre has imposed in the form of hike in the price of LPG. The opposition and the public participated in the bandh in a rather perfunctory manner. CPI, CPI (M) and TDP cadres converged at the Tirupati railway station and squatted on the track detaining in the process the Secunderabad-bound Venkatadri express. Shops and business establishments remained closed in the early part of the day and opened later for normal operations. TTD’s administrative office and some branches of the banks also had to pull down their shutters. Similar reports have come in from Chittoor, Madanapalle, Srikalahasti. Demonstrators detained buses at Chittoor, Puttur and Vadamalpet for nearly an hour touching off a traffic jam on the highways. RTC authorities also regulated their services in the trouble-prone areas and restored them after the situation improved.

Total bandh

Kurnool Special Correspondent writes:

The bandh call given by opposition parties to protest against hike in the price of petroleum products here on Friday was total and peaceful. Work in all banks, business establishments, government offices and schools came to a halt. The supporters of CPI(M) and TDP detained the Sampark Kranti express. The APSRTC withdrew its services till evening. TDP district president Byreddy Rajasekhar Reddy, CPI (M) district secretary T. Shadrak, MLA M.A. Gafoor went round the city and requested the people and shop-keepers to cooperate with them for the bandh.

Partial response

Kadapa Special Correspondent writes:

The bandh enforced by Telugu Desam Party, CPI and CPI(M) on Friday deploring the petrol, diesel and LPG price hike was total in Kadapa, Proddatur, Rayachoti, Mydukur, Badvel and Rajampet but evoked no response in Pulivendula, Vempalle and Nandalur towns. APSRTC buses and auto-rickshaws did not ply.CPI(M) and CITU functionaries took out a rally with a man dressed as a ‘ghost’ and carrying an LPG cylinder around his neck atop a bullock cart and staged rasta roko at Apsara circle.

TDP functionaries led by Mr. Sivananda Reddy and district vice-president S. Subhan Basha staged rasta roko at ITI circle.CPI(M) leader N. Ravisankar Reddy, AITUC city president C. Subrahmanyam and AIYF members led a rasta roko at RTC bus stand. People had an agonising wait at the RTC bus stand as buses did not ply.

Train passengers were also put to hardships. Bandh had no impact in Pulivendula, Vempalle and Nandalur.

Standoff

CPI(M) functionaries had a scuffle with Kadapa Mayor P. Ravindranath Reddy’s security personnel at Kadapa Municipal Corporation on Friday demanding that he leave his chamber in view of Friday’s bandh. Police rushed to the spot and dispersed the protesters. Enforcers of the bandh sent away employees from the Municipal Corporation and tried to storm the Mayor’s chamber demanding that he should not transact official business on the bandh day. When the Mayor invited a few CPI(M) leaders inside, Venkat and N. Ravisankar Reddy urged him to cooperate with the bandh enforcers. Expressing reluctance to leave office, the Mayor advised them not to force anybody but voluntarily seek cooperation. When the CPI(M) functionaries stuck to their demand, Kadapa West Circle Inspector U. Suryanarayana and staff dispersed them.