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Curfew clamped in Vizianagaram
Curfew clamped in Vizianagaram. It was virtually a street war between the police and agitators since morning in Vizianagaram town on Saturday.
First time in AP in recent years.
- Over 100 injured, including 40 cops; agitators looted shops, went on stone-pelting and arson
- MLC Kolagatla Swamy’s house besieged; Cops managed to block route to Botcha’s house
It was virtually a street war between the police and agitators since morning in Vizianagaram town on Saturday. The police had a harrowing time, handling the situation. Local DSP sustained head injuries and a number of police and private vehicles were reduced to ashes as the agitators set them on fire. In spite of the presence of SPs of three districts, DIG and Coastal IG, the agitators could not be contained from vandalizing the properties, both private and public. Coastal IG Dwaraka Tirumala Rao announced imposition of curfew in the town from Sunday morning. Incidentally this is the first time in recent times that curfew has been imposed in Andhra Pradesh. Over 100 persons were injured, including 40 cops; agitators looted shops, went on stone-pelting and arson. Addressing the newsmen, he said anti-social elements had joined the agitation and he warned them of stern action. “Cases under non-bailable sections would be filed against them,” he said. Additional forces would be deployed, he said, adding. Peace would be restored by Sunday morning. However, he was evasive on how many persons were arrested. Since morning the agitators spilled onto the roads raising slogans against the Congress party and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi for the Cabinet Note on bifurcation of the State.
In spite of the warning by the police that Section 144 was promulgated, the warnings did not deter the agitators. Several times throughout the day, the police tried to disperse the agitators by resorting to lathi charge. The agitators retaliated with hurling stones against the police compelling them to use tear gas shells to disperse the agitators. Throughout the town, there have continuously been attacks and counter-attacks between the police and the agitators. The agitators went on damaging-spree attacking the police and private vehicles throughout the town. Approximately, 40 police and private vehicles were reduced ashes apart from more than 40 motorcycles which were also burnt.
Clashes between the police and agitators have been reported at Kothapet junction, Three Lanterns Junction, Tower clock, Fort junction, Collectorate and other places. Police hurled tear gas shells on several occasions to stop the agitators from hurling stones at them.
In the melee, the Vizianagaram DSP sustained head injuries. In the other part of town, agitators went on attacking-spree following rumours that students were killed. They attacked the private and government properties throughout the area. The District Cooperative Central Bank was attacked and the furniture was damaged.
The agitators laid siege to the house of MLC Kolagatla Veerabahdra Swamy and smashed the glass windowpanes of the house. The MLC followers and the police fought with the agitators and ten persons sustained injuries. Both the groups hurled stones against each other. The agitators have also attacked the house of Botcha Srinivasa Rao, brother of PCC president Botcha Satyanarayana and destroyed the cable equipment in the house. They pelted stones at the police when they tried to disperse them. The agitators also attacked the house of the brother of the MLC and advocate Tammanna Setty and damaged the furniture. In another part of the town, the agitators at KL Puram rounded up a youth who attacked the students during the laying siege of Botcha Satyanarayana house and thrashed him up. However, the police intervened and took away the youth. The agitators chased the 25 police personnel from the scene and injured them with stones. They had burnt down 20 motorcycles in the melee.
At Fort Junction, the police and the agitators clashed once again. The agitators hurled fire crackers at the police forcing the police personnel to throw tear gas shells at them. The agitators attacked the Bhashyam School and ransacked the furniture. The public life came to standstill and the people are afraid to step out of their homes.