VIJAYAWADA: The statewide bandh called by opposition parties on Tuesday demanding for grant of special category status to Andhra Pradesh, was peaceful and complete.
Though educational institutions and a few markets remained closed, government offices, hospitals, hotels, cinema halls and other private organisations, had functioned in most of the urban areas, while markets were closed till noon in rural areas. Autorickshaws and other modes of transport operated without any interruption. The RTC services too resumed after initial obstructions by the protestors.
Across the state, leaders of opposition parties including YSRC, Congress, CPI, CPM and other Left parties were detained, when they tried to stage protests and take out rallies since early in the morning. Protesters who tried to enforce bandh were also arrested by the police who were deployed in large number at different places to prevent any untoward incidents.
In Vijayawada, CPI state secretary K Ramakrishna, Congress leader and former union minister MM Pallam Raju, YSRC leaders Vangaveeti Radha and others were arrested at different places by the police.
In Tirupati, former MLA B Karunakar Reddy, Chandragiri MLA Chevireddy Bhaskar Reddy and others were arrested. In Anantapur former MLA M Shankar Narayana, B Gurunath Reddy, CPI leader Jagdish and others were arrested.
In Kadapa, RTC buses were confined to depots for few hours in the morning but resumed the operations with most of the protestors and their leaders were arrested by the police. Kadapa MLA SB Amzad Basha, mayor K Suresh Babu and other leaders along with Left activists and leaders were arrested. Similarly arrests were made in Porumamilla, Badvel, Railway Kodur.
Situation was no different in Kurnool, Nellore, Prakasam, Guntur, twin Godavari districts and three North Andhra districts. Though the bandh received good response in the agency areas of North Coastal Andhra, there was partial response in urban areas like Visakhapatnam.
As educational institutions remained closed, students made a beeline to the nearby cinema halls and shopping malls.
Opposition leaders flayed the state government for trying to stifle the voice of the public by resorting to arrests. “TDP government’s attitude is most condemnable.
They want to gag the people’s voice by arrests. It should be joining opposition parties in the protest, for it is most important issue for the state, but it chooses to side with the central government which is denying the special category status to the state,” CPM state secretary P Madhu said.
Meanwhile, a few TDP leaders staged a protest against the lack of cooperation from the Central government to the state in their own way. Ponnur MLA Dhulipalla Narendra sat on a day-long ‘deeksha’ at the statue of Acharya N G Ranga in Ponnur of Guntur district.