GUNTUR:After a long wait of 36 hours, M Sanjeeva Rao, a 40-year-old realtor from Pedakakani mandal in Guntur district, who climbed up a 300-foot BSNL cell tower at Autonagar here demanding special status to Andhra Pradesh, got down, with officials finally convincing him.
NDRF commandos were called in on Sunday night to bring him down. Nets were spread around the cell tower. Even as NDRF personnel were preparing to climb the tower, they were asked not to do so by the family members of Sanjeeva Rao, fearing he might jump if they take such a step.
Sanjeev Rao climbed the cell tower on Saturday around 10 am and informed his friends that he will jump if the Union government did not announce special status to Andhra Pradesh. Alerted, the police personnel rushed to the spot and asked him to come down from the tower.
Police kept a night vigil at the tower, urging him not to take any hasty decision. On Sunday afternoon, agriculture minister Prathipati Pulla Rao and MLC Nannapaneni Rajakumari hurried to the location and talked to Rao over his cell phone.
They tried to convince him that the Union government had not rejected special category status to the state. Though at some point of time Sanjeeva Rao looked convinced, he did not get down stating that he was ready to lay down his life for the sake of five crore people of the state.
According to sources, Sanjeeva Rao has taken some food and water along with him on Saturday morning while climbing the tower and on Sunday morning, his family members gave him some water by climbing up to a certain height.
Around 9:30 p.m. Sanjeev Rao climbed down, with district collector Kantilal Dande promising to facilitate a meeting the PM.
Agriculture Minister P Pulla Rao also assured him that a check dam would be built in his native village.