Staff Reporter

Protest against landgrab by tribal body

Precautionary steps to avoid confrontation

Bandh has its impact on pilgrims visiting the town

KHAMMAM: A total bandh was observed in the temple town of Bhadrachalam on Monday in response to the call given by the “Pourasamiti” backed by all parties barring the CPI (M) protesting against the land grab movement launched by the Adivasi Samkshema Parishad (ASP). Business establishments and hotels downed their shutters voluntarily. The protesters stopped RTC buses bound for various destinations for about two hours and staged a protest demonstration.

The town witnessed heavy deployment of police on the occasion as the authorities took all precautionary steps to avoid a confrontation between tribal and non-tribal communities. The bandh passed off peacefully and it had its impact on the pilgrims visiting the Bhadradri temple as the hoteliers too joined the protest. A delegation of the Purasamiti members met Sub-Collector Janaki and apprised her of the situation.

She assured them of steps for protecting the lands – the enjoyment of which was legal and genuine. The leaders of the Adivasi Samkshema Parishad also sought to explain to her their point of view. The stalemate continued till late in the evening. The Sub-Collector had called for another round of talks with the leaders from both sides in a bid to sort out the problem and restore normality in the temple town.

Trouble started with the ASP going all out for grabbing the endowment lands of the Sri Sitaramachandraswamy Devasthanams. Tribal families from different mandals in the divisions descended on the town and occupied some 150 acres of land and started to build hutments. In the process they had occupied the patta land of some non-tribes and tribes also. A tribal woman, Bhukya Bajia in Sundaraiah colony attempted suicide in the town on Sunday as her land was also occupied.