Hundreds of people in Guntur and Krishna districts hit the roads in protest on Friday demanding that Amaravati be retained as the sole capital of Andhra Pradesh.
The protesters, fearing that the Andhra Pradesh Cabinet in its Friday meeting will endorse the G.N. Rao Committee report recommending the establishment of three capital cities in the State, organised rallies and human chains at Visakhapatnam, Kurnool and Amaravati.
Villagers damaged the glass panes of an SRM University vehicle, which was on its way to the campus from Guntur at Pedaparimi village.
Protestors took out a rally from Andhra Loyola College and formed a human chain at Benz Circle.
Activists of Telugu Nadu Students Federation (TNSF), the student’s wing of the Telugu Desam Party, staged a protest near Municipal Administration Minister Botsa Satyanarayana’s residence protesting against the government’s decision to shift the capital from Amaravati.
Former Minister Devineni Umamaheshwara Rao was taken into police custody when he tried to stage a rasta roko along with his supporters at Gollapudi. Former MLA Bode Prasad and his followers were arrested when they staged a sit-in.
Heavy police force was deployed along the Prakasam Barrage, NH-65 and NH-16, and on all roads leading to the Secretariat. Barricades and pickets were put in place at many places as a precautionary measure while the SPF police secured the Secretariat.
Police conducted vehicle checks on Prakasam Barrage and other places and allowed the public to proceed only after verification of identity cards.
“We took about 77 persons, who tried to stage rasta rokos and dharnas causing inconvenience to the public at different places, into custody in Vijayawada today,” Vijayawada Police Commissioner Dwaraka Tirumala Rao said.