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Visakhapatnam: When students played fiercer role in Ukku battle

Youth taking part in the ongoing protest against Centre
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Youth taking part in the ongoing protest against Centre's move to privatise RINL in Visakhapatnam

Highlights

An army of students essayed a proactive part in the massive movement ‘Visakha Ukku Andhrula Hakku’ in the past

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Visakhapatnam: An army of students essayed a proactive part in the massive movement 'Visakha Ukku Andhrula Hakku' in the past. Irrespective of the region and the grades, scores of students from Visakhapatnam, Kadapa, Mahbubnagar, Adilabad and other destinations took to the streets to fight for the common cause.

The agitation carried out by the students grew fiercer from October 21, 1966. A massive rally was taken out by 10,000 students the next day followed by a public meeting that drew not less than 30,000 protestors. Somewhere in October-end, the young agitators not only blocked the 'Mail' express near Gopalapatnam railway station but also squatted on the railway tracks to draw the attention of the Union government.

Despite the then District Collector Abid Hussain appealing to the protestors to clear the railway tracks, they did not budge but continued protesting for hours. However, care was taken to provide water, milk and other supplies to the passengers who were forced to wait in the trains due to the protest. Subsequently, 'Rail Roko' was followed across the State then.

As a part of the State-wide bandh, the telephone wires were severed, Central government offices were attacked, and some of the train wagons and compartments went up in flames in 32 railway stations across the State.

Students from Andhra University, Andhra Medical College, Mrs. AVN College, Polytechnic College and ITI and even high schools took part in 'Visakha Ukku Andhrula Hakku' movement.

Students did essay a fiercer role in the massive agitation then. Currently, with the protest against the privatisation proposal growing intense, students are gearing up to take the lead again.

City president of Democratic Youth Federation of India USN Raju says, "To take the ongoing agitation forward, we have decided to take out a bike rally across the state from February 14. Apart from extending support to all parties, the federation will also take up independent protests. Also, we have formed a joint action committee for the purpose"

Condemning the Centre's disinvestment plans of RINL, AISF district secretary G Phanindra Kumar opines, "Already, the employment opportunities have come down drastically. With the privatisation proposal, the job security takes a toll. As students, we are going to show our might, supporting the agitation."

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