VISAKHAPATNAM: Since the city was under a security blanket, students and youth made apartments and parks as venues to gather and discussed strategies on the protest.The VUDA Central Park had become a hotbed for the silent protest, while many gathered in apartments on the Beach Road.
The much hyped AP Youth’s silent protest, demanding special category status (SCS) to Andhra Pradesh, at RK Beach on Thursday was fizzled out amid heavy police presence. Around 1,000-strong police force laid siege to the roads and lanes leading to Jodugulapalem to the Fishing harbour area.
The stretch from Park Hotel junction to Naval Coastal Battery came under siege with over 15 checkpoints. Forget agitators, even tourists were not allowed to enter the Beach Road.
As the agitators decided to engage buses and vans, checkpoints dotted the city. Due to massive security, the youth managed to stage protests in spells at a few places and they ended in arrests.
College students who decided to stage protests have started to gather in parks and apartments. While a few degree students of the city gathered at VUDA central park, some engineering students gathered at MVP Colony parks. CPM activists readied for the protest at the VUDA central park. Andhra Yuvatha members and some engineering students gathered at apartments on the Beach Road.
The Special Branch Police in civil dress were seen alerting the patrolling vehicles. To outbid the police, students formed special WhatsApp groups to communicate with others.
It was tough for the police with youth and especially college students hitting the roads without the support of parties or associations. Around 80 to 100 students who gathered at the VUDA Central Park and took out a rally till the Gandhi statue at GVMC office were stopped by police. The students entered into heated argument with the cops. The cops too had brought flexes which read stop the protest.
Attada Babujee spoke to the students that there was high alert and there were chances of miscreants joining the mob and creating trouble. The students then squatted on the road showing their Aadhaar cards.
Vexed, the cops took many of them into custody, while many disbursed after cops pacified them. But in five minutes, another two groups of students gathered near the RTC Complex who too were pacified.
Meanwhile, some protestors were taken into custody at the YMCA who triedinto the into the beach. But NGO activists, however, entered the Beach at YMCA and were arrested immediately. Students of Andhra University were also arrested at Siripuram as a preventive measure.