Tyres of autorickshaws and buses deflated at several places
Protesters demand immediate rollback of petro price hike
Activists of opposition parties detain some trains
VISAKHAPATNAM: Normal life in the city was affected on Friday morning due to the bandh call given by the Opposition to protest against the steep hike in the prices of petroleum products. The bandh was partial and peaceful in the city.
While some of the shop owners downed their shutters anticipating trouble, others were forced to down their shutters by those enforcing the bandh.
The normally busy roads at Jagadamba junction, Dwarakanagar and Aseelmetta wore a deserted look in the morning. Representatives of various unions stopped autorickshaws and deflated the tyres ignoring protests from passengers. Some of the drivers were seen picking up arguments with the protesters.
A woman, going to the railway station in an autorickshaw along with her son and daughter, broke into tears as the bandh organisers refused to listen to her pleas to allow the vehicle to go. Her daughter picked up an argument with the bandh organisers while her son prevented the situation from going out of control by pacifying his sister.
The protesters did not spare a school autorickshaw near the RTC Complex. Their school (Sri Krishna Vidya Mandir) had opened after the summer vacation.
Even RTC buses were not spared and the tyres of quite a few buses were deflated at Dwarakanagar, Dabagardens and other areas.
Communist Party of India-Marxist District Committee secretary Ch. Narasinga Rao, city committee secretary K. Lokanadham and CPI District Council secretary J.V. Satyanarayana Murthy, City Council secretary A.J. Stalin, Mahila Samakya city secretary M. Rama and Autorickshaw Drivers’ Union State general secretary G. Vamana Murthy were among those who participated in the protests at Dabagardens and Jagadamba junctions and other areas.
Processions and rasta rokos were held as part of the bandh. The CPI and CPI(M) activists detained the Dibrugarh – Chennai Express for about half-an-hour at the railway station.
In agency area
Mr. Narasinga Rao claimed that the bandh was a total success in the agency with all traffic coming to a standstill in all the 11 mandals of the agency. Shops, various private and government offices were also closed at Anakapalle, Narsipatnam, Bheemunipatnam, Chodavaram, Devarapalli and other areas, he said.
He demanded an immediate rollback of the hike.
Mr. Satyanarayana Murthy said that the forthcoming National Council meeting of the CPI would decide on the continuation of support or otherwise to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government if it failed to regulate the prices.
Telugu Mahila activists detained the Ratnachal Express for about 15 minutes at the railway station. The Government Railway Police forcibly removed them from the track.
The call for State-wide bandh by opposition parties in protest against the rise in prices of petrol, diesel and LPG evoked good response in the jaggery town of Anakapalle on Friday.
Former Minister and Telugu Desam’s district unit president Bandaru Satyanarayana Murthy, town unit president Buddha Naga Jagadeeswara Rao and about 100 party workers were taken into custody when they blocked the traffic on the National Highway near Nagulapalli.
Leader of Opposition in Legislative Council Dadi Veerabhadra Rao stayed at the Nehru Chowk monitoring the enforcement of bandh by his party workers. CPI and CPI (M) leaders also erected pandals to monitor the situation.
Shops, educational institutions and cinema halls were closed and RTC buses did not operate for a long time.
Agitators forced closure of the Municipal Office, Tahsildar’s office, government offices and banks.