Students criticise Chief Minister and Home Minister
The district bandh called for by the Joint Action Committee and the SKU students to protest the cancellation of the Sub-Inspectors recruitment written examination by the government was by and large peaceful and incident-free except for the police lathicharge on agitators in Gooty town who blocked the traffic demanding immediate holding of the test.
In another incident on the university campus, students threatened to jump from the library building on Saturday morning. Police persuaded the students to climb down and dispersed them.
Meanwhile, university students burnt an effigy of Chief Minister K. Rosaiah and flayed Home Minister P. Sabitha Indra Reddy for taking a decision in favour of Telangana people. Police arrested Telugu Desam Party leaders, including Puttaparthy MLA Palle Raghunath Reddy, when the Telugu Nadu Student activists staged a rasta roko blocking road traffic on the Bangalore road.
Joint Action Committee activists formed a human chain at the local Saptagiri Circle demanding immediate fixing of a date for the exam. They shouted slogans against the Chief Minister and the Home Minister.
Meanwhile, NSUI students organised a rail roko agitation at the Anantapur Railway Station and stopped the KK Express bound towards Bangalore for about half-an-hour. Police intervened and arrested the students who stopped the train.
The district bandh called by the JAC was total. Education institutions were closed for the day and RTC buses went off the road and business establishments downed shutters paralysing normal life in the district. Small towns including Hindupur, Guntakal, Tadipatri and Kalyandurg observed bandh.
Students boycott classes
Tirupati Special Correspondent writes: Chief Minister K. Rosaiah and the State government came in for a sharp attack from the JAC leaders of the Samaikhya Andhra Parirakshana Samithi (SAPS), Samaikhya Andhra Students JAC and the Prathyeka Rayalaseema Students JAC—the three organisations which led the demonstrations in Tirupati and elsewhere in the district as part of the bandh observed on Saturday.
Students belonging to the JACs boycotted classes and set out on a march from the SVU campus denouncing the State government for buckling under the pressure tactics employed allegedly by a bunch of ‘OU-JAC activists' to force the government to postpone the written test for SI posts, putting in jeopardy the fate of the candidates in the Seema-Andhra region who had already spent a lot of money and time on preparing for the exam.
Leaders addressing the demonstrators at several places in the town after dharnas and rasta rooks, dubbed Mr. Rosaiah as the ‘weakest' ever Chief Minister Andhra Pradesh has ever had and referred to the somersault he had made on the issue in less than 12 hours of putting up a brave face and indulging in tough talk.
The protesting leaders also targeted Home Minister Sabita Indra Reddy and criticised her for trying to shed ‘crocodile tears' for the disappointment caused to the ‘Seema-Andhra' candidates.
She had apparently forgotten that she was the Home Minister of the State and not of Telangana region alone, they said and charged her with attempts to stifle the ‘Samaikhya Andhra' stir. The leaders said that the agitation would not be called off until the Home Minister announced the next dates for the SI exam, now postponed indefinitely.
Among the leaders who led the demonstrations and spoke were K. Subramanyam, N. Raja Reddy, Md. Raffi, Katam Raju (SAPS), Sapthagiri Prasad and Seshadri Naidu (Samaikhyandhra students JAC), A.J. Suri and Kotagari Murali (PRS-JAC) besides others.
Traffic blocked on NH
Kurnool Special Correspondent adds: University and college students led by Student Joint Action Committee staged protest urging the government to conduct the test.
Most of the educational institutions in the city and across the district remained closed in support of the bandh call given by the student JAC. After boycotting the classes in the university, the students staged a demonstration and shouted slogans. Six students reached top of the building and protested.
Later, the students held up traffic on National Highway No 18 and organised rasta roko. Some of the students reached the Collectorate and held a demonstration.