Stir continues, even as police book ‘bindover’ cases
The agitation in support of Samaikyandhra in 13 districts of Andhra and Rayalaseema regions continued without any let up on Saturday. The government offices wore a deserted look and public transport was completely disrupted as the indefinite strike of NGOs and RTC employees entered its fifth day. In several places the RTC staff took the buses out of the depots and demonstrated in the streets sitting on the top of the buses.
- RTC employees take out bus rallies
- Missing cases filed against CM, Ministers
- Satrucharla joins bullock cart rally
- Government officers join stir in Nellore
- NGOs sweep roads in Rajahmundry
- Dhulipalla Narendra begins indefinite fast
Hyderabad: The agitation in support of Samaikyandhra in 13 districts of Andhra and Rayalaseema regions continued without any let up on Saturday. The government offices wore a deserted look and public transport was completely disrupted as the indefinite strike of NGOs and RTC employees entered its fifth day. In several places the RTC staff took the buses out of the depots and demonstrated in the streets sitting on the top of the buses.
The police were taking stringent security measures by booking bind over cases over activists to thwart the proposed rail roko agitation slated for Sunday. In Anantapur district alone 23 thousand persons were bound over by the police who were asked to report to the nearest police station in the morning. There were reports from several districts in Rayalaseema and Andhra regions. In Kamalapuram in Kadapa district the police resorted to lathi charge on the peaceful agitators.
In a novel protest, In Podili town in Prakasam district, Samaikyandhra JAC activists displayed huge flexi banners reporting that the State and Union Ministers, besides the Chief Minister were missing. Some lawyers and NGOs went to the police station and registered ‘missing’ case.
In the Pathapatnam mandal in Srikakulam district, the Minister for Forests Satrucharla Vijaya Rama Raju participated in a bullock carts and tractors rally organized by the striking officials of Agriculture Department officials. Braving heavy rain, hundreds of farmers participated in the rally amidst traditional beating of drums and display of fighting skills, including sword play.
Vijaya Rama Raju, who submitted his resignation to the Chief Minister, walked for some distance holding a sword. Addressing the agitators, he said that he quit the minister’s post for the sake of a united Andhra Pradesh and he would extend all possible help in taking the agitation further.
TDP MLA from Ponnur in Guntur district Dhulipalla Narendra began his fast-unto-death to protest against bifurcation of the state. He told ‘The Hans India’ that he launched the agitation with a slogan ‘Sonia Quit India’ as she ignored Seemandhra interests. In Kadapa, the indefinite fast of YSR Congress MLA Srikanth Reddy and former Mayor Ravindranath Reddy entered sixth day even as the doctors expressed concern over their deteriorating health condition.
In Ongole, a large number of employees took part in the NGOs rally here. They formed human chain at Church centre and raised slogans against the Central government. Students walked on their knees. Employees of Municipal Corporation protested with blindfolds. Electrical staff took out a bike rally. In an unprecedented manner, welfare hostels were also covered under bandh. Employees of Endowments department also staged a protest demonstration.
In Markapur, Prakasam district, a bandh was organized jointly by employees, students and businessmen. A huge rally was taken out in the town raising slogans against KCR and Sonia. The agitators blocked roads by playing Kabaddi and cooking. In Nuzivid, former legislator Pratap organized ‘Vanta Vaarpu’ programme on the road in support of the proposed indefinite fast of YSRCP leader Y S Vijayamma.
In Nellore district, the Samaikyandhra agitation gained momentum, the government officers who stayed away from the agitation so far, decided on Saturday to join and came out on to the streets raising slogans in support of Samaikyandhra.
Speaking to the media in Nellore, Health Officer Dr. Sudhakar Rao, Joint Director of Agriculture Nageswara Rao, Horticulture Joint Director Bhaskar and others said that they would join the agitation and fight till the UPA rescinds its decision to bifurcate the State. The Additional Joint Collector Penchala Reddy said that as there was a stiff opposition among the people against the division of the State, the officers had no choice but to join the agitation. District Revenue Officer Rami Reddy also participated in the stir.
In Kakinada, JNTU students sat on a relay hunger strike on the national highway in front of the JNTU premises. Hundreds of university students took part in the hunger strike. In Rajahmundry, the NGOs, under the leadership of G Haribabu and Johnson, in a novel protest swept the road at Gandhi statue near Gokavaram Bus Stand. Amalapuram MP GV Harsha Kumar, State BC Corporation chairman Dokala Murali and others participated in the programme. In the meanwhile, Thota Vani, wife of Minister Thota Narasimham, whose one-week hunger strike was thwarted by the police, made it clear that she would continue to lend her voice to the cause of keeping the State undivided.
Taxi strike causes hardships to pilgrims
Tirupati : The 24-hour strike by taxi and jeep operators caused severe hardship to pilgrims who thronged the hill town from various places on Saturday. Although RTC services of the Tirumala depot to Alipiri link bus-stand were normal the week-end rush posed problems in entering the vehicles, which were found to be inadequate. Many buses left Alipiri packed. Several pilgrims walked to Tirumala as they had difficulty in getting into buses. They had to carry heavy baggage and children.
All taxi and jeep operators staged a demonstration with their vehicles at SV Medical College. After garlanding Potti Sriramulu’s statue the drivers and owners held a rally to the college by passing through Alipiri, Nandi Circle, Leela Mahal Circle, Purnakumbham Circle, Sankarambadi Circle, Annamayya Circle, Balaji Colony and Town Club Circle.
As the rally passed through the centres, vehicular movement was affected. Pilgrims could not get into buses at Alipiri. The bus station was crowded with pilgrims who got into heated arguments with others pilgrims while trying boarding the vehicles. Young people could gain entry by performing circus-like feats. Many travelled ‘standing’, never seen on the Tirumala-Tirupati route.
Many women and children suffered during the strike. All leading roads to Balaji link bus stand were filled with pilgrims. The bitter experience before the Lord’s ‘darshan’ spoiled their mood. On a day 4,800 private jeeps and taxis make multiple trips between Tirupati and Tirumala. As drivers of these vehicles were on strike, RTC buses could not provide an alternative to pilgrims. The private vehicles were parked in Municipal Nehru High School.