Joy in Telangana, uneasy calm prevails in Seemandhra
It was Jai Telangana all the way right from Osmania University, the hotbed of T-agitation, to all Telangana districts, where people erupted in joy the moment the Congress announced its decision to carve out a separate state.The scene in Seemandhra was exactly the opposite. Though no large-scale violence was reported, at some places, employees threatened to boycott poll duties for the third phase of panchayat elections slated for Wednesday. The Samaikhyandhra JAC called for a bandh.
Throughout the day, the entire State remained glued to the TV, waiting with bated breath for the decision of the Congress. By evening, distribution of sweets and sloganeering in support of Telangana filled the air across the region as people hugged each other. While some turned emotional, for many, the feeling was yet to sink in.
However, far away in Seemandhra, streets wore a deserted look and people mostly chose to stay indoors even as a heavy posse of policemen kept strict vigil. In Visakhapatnam, which was witnessing protests right from the morning, particularly at the Andhra University, the scene in the evening had changed.
However, a group of students continued to protest at the university, while a similar protest was staged at Siripuram junction. Though there was apprehension of violence at various places, including Visakhapatnam, nothing untoward was reported. In Vijayawada too, there were hardly any protests, barring a few wherein a group of people tried to stage a rasta-roko. “The hype (of apprehensions that violence may break out) is created only by politicians. Everything is normal across the state,” a senior police official said.
In Kadapa, Anantapur and Nellore, the situation was calm except for minor protests. At Madanapalle in Chittoor district, a rally was taken out by united Andhra Pradesh supporters who later torched two autorickshaws, while in other parts of the district, window panes of some buses were damaged. In Hindupur and Kurnool, some minor violence was reported with supporters of Samayakandhra damaging public property. In Kurnool, two RTC buses were damaged.
In Chittoor, when employees threatened to boycott poll duties, district collector Solomon Arokiaraj made it clear they would be suspended. Similarly, in Vijayawada too, employees have threatened to boycott poll duties.