Educational institutions in the coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions observed a bandh on Saturday in protest against the central government’s moves to divide the state.
Students staged dharnas in Krishna, Guntur and Prakasam districts and organised a big rally in Nellore demanding that the state be kept intact. A youth tried to set himself on fire but the police moved in time and prevented him from commit suicide.
A few private schools and colleges in Vijayawada remained shut but all the municipal and government schools functioned as ususal. A silent protest was organised by local leader Devineni Avinash in which Parliament member Lagadapati Rajgopal participated.
In Bapatla in Guntur district a bandh was enforced while in Prakasam district several private schools and colleges observed bandh. JAC activists led by its state co-convener Rayapati Jagadish organised a rally demanding that the Union government keep the state united.
In the Rayalaseema region, the day was marked by agitations in Kadapa, Anantpaur and Chittoor districts. Educational institutions remained closed while university teachers boycotted classes and took part in rallies.
Educational institutions voluntarily closed in support of the students’ demand while RTC workers, under the aegis of Indian National Trade Union Congress, marched in a procession from the RTC bus station to Gandhi Statue where they staged a dharna.
Students, and teaching and non-teaching staff of Sri Krishnadevaraya University in Anantapur staged a rasta-roko demanding that all the public representatives from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions resign to press the Centre to keep the state united.
Taking strong exception to the statements of some ministers from both the regions that they would abide by any decision taken by the Congress Core Committee (CCC) or the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the protesters threatened that such leaders would have to face dire consequences.
In Kadapa, Samaikyandhra Joint Action Committeee activists laid siege to endowment minister C Ramachandraiah’s residence in Cooperative Colony demanding his resignation.
Shouting slogans in favour of Samaikyandhra, the agitators wanted all leaders from the two regions to resign to send a strong message to the Centre that they would oppose any decision to split the state.
In Tirupati, Sri Venkateswara University (SVU) JAC leaders, along with the students of Sri Padmavathi Mahila Degree and PG College, organised a massive dharna.
In Chittoor and Madanapalle towns, students boycotted classes, marched through the streets and formed human chains.