Vijayawada/Visakhapatnam/ Rajahmundry/ Nellore/Tirupati/Guntur: In the absence of support from other political parties, the bandh call given by the YSR Congress party to protest the Centre not granting Special Category Status (SCS) to Andhra Pradesh evoked a mixed response on Tuesday. While at some places the bandh was successful, in others it was partial. Across the state police had clamped down on the protestors.
Thousands of YSRC cadres and leaders who tried to enforce the bandh were taken into custody by the police. They were later released across the 13 districts of the state. YSRC leaders, Buggana Rajendranath Reddy, Botsa Satyanarayana, Amabati Rambabu, Bhumana Karunakar Reddy, K Parthasarathy, R K Roja, G Srikanth Reddy and many others were arrested by the police. A YSRC activist died of a cardiac arrest while taking part in the bandh in West Godavari.
The bandh got a good response in Guntur district though YSRC leaders and legislators had been arrested as a precautionary measure earlier. The YSRC cadres rushed to the APSRTC bus-stands at Guntur and other places and staged protests, stopping buses from plying. Schools and colleges declared a holiday and a majority of markets were closed.
In Vizag, except for a few private educational institutions, all commercial establishments were functioning. Government offices and schools were open as usual. APSRTC buses were at the bus stations till 11 am and started moving later on. District YSRC leaders stopped buses originating at Maddilapalem depot at 6 am. Later, the party leaders and workers formed a human chain at the four-road junction at NH-16 demanding the SCS for the state. As they obstructed highway traffic, the police arrested some of the leaders at 7 am.
In Nellore and Prakasam districts the bandh was partial and largely peaceful. Police took YSRC functionaries and legislators into custody when they attempted to close central government offices, stop RTC buses and halt traffic on the national highway in a few places. With the leaders taken away, buses and trains operated almost as usual except for a few hours in the morning. As many as 115 cases were booked and 1,214 YSRC leaders and supporters were taken into preventive custody under Section 151 of the Cr PC in Godavari district and later released on bail after submission of a personal surety.