Hyderabad: Anti-Telangana protests continued in Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra regions of Andhra Pradesh for the seventh consecutive day on Tuesday even as mild tension prevailed at two government offices here over the separate Telangana statehood issue.
Supporters of 'united' Andhra Pradesh, including students and members of different organisations took to the streets, continuing with protests, rallies as well as road blockades, besides organising other agitations in 'Seemandhra' (comprising both Rayalaseema as well as non-Telangana) districts and Hyderabad.
"Protests, rallies as well as demonstrations are on, but the situation is under control and peaceful," IGP (Law and Order) Harish Kumar Gupta told PTI.
Timely intervention by the police prevented a possible clash between employees from Seemandhra region and employees from Telangana region at Jala Soudha and Vidyuth Soudha here. Mild tension prevailed at Jala Soudha in Erramanzil area when Seemandhra region employees held a protest for a "united" Andhra Pradesh, even as pro-Telangana employees began a counter protest.
Both sides raised slogans in favour and against the move to create a Telangana state and were seen jostling each other after heated arguments.
However, the police immediately intervened and dispersed both groups who almost came to blows, without having to take anybody into custody, a police officer said.
Similarly, the police immediately intervened and managed to bring the situation under control when pro-Telangana employees raised slogans after a Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader P. Keshav reached the Vidyuth Soudha to express his solidarity with pro-Seemandhra employees who were staging their own anti-Telangana protest.
Pro-Seemandhra employees boycotted duties and held demonstration at the Andhra Pradesh state secretariat premises here to protest against the decision to create a separate Telangana state. Under the aegis of the AP Secretariat Seemandhra Employees' Forum, they raised slogans like "Hyderabad belongs to all" and "We want justice".
Educational institutions remained closed in most parts of the Seemandhra region while business establishments and shops also downed their shutters at some places in support of a "united" Andhra Pradesh.
In Anantapur, agitators stopped a passenger train at the railway station there. Supporters of united Andhra Pradesh held a bike rally in Anantapur town and also staged demonstrations in towns like Dharmavaram and Penukonda.
Advocates cooked food on the roads, blocking vehicles in front of the court in the city.
"Protests continued today as well, though in a peaceful manner. Nobody has been taken into custody," Anantapur Superintendent of Police S. Shyam Sunder told PTI.
In Kurnool and Nellore districts, anti-Telangana protesters cooked food on roads, besides organising massive rallies and blocking roads. Members of the AP Non-Gazetted Officers' Association and students held a protest near the residence of union minister Panabaka Lakshmi and BJP leader M Venkaiah Naidu in Nellore, against the move to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh.
A large number of students squatted on roads and formed human chains in Ongole city of Prakasam district, even as united Andhra Pradesh supporters burnt effigies of Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) Chief K. Chandrasekhar Rao alias KCR, in Srikakulam district.
Protesters danced on roads in Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts raising slogans like, "KCR down down". A massive rally involving heavy vehicles, tractors and autorickshaws was held in Chittoor district, while protesters burnt tyres on the roads.
In Rayachoti, Rajampet and Produttoor towns of Kadapa district, protesters, including hundreds of women, held rallies in support of their demands, besides cooking food on roads. Similar protests were also held in Srikakulam, Visakhapatnam, Krishna, Guntur, East Godavari and West Godavari districts.
Meanwhile, supporters of the united Andhra Pradesh allegedly damaged window panes of two buses of the Andhra Pradesh Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) in Chittoor district even as the Corporation managed to operate only 63.11 per cent of its total services in coastal Andhra Pradesh and Rayalaseema regions, officials said.
Out of the daily scheduled 11,445 services being operated in the districts of Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra Pradesh, the APSRTC operated 7,223 services. The APSRTC has been making a loss of Rs 3.5 crore per day, due to the ongoing agitation, they said.
In East Godavari district, processions, effigy burning and rasta roko by pro-united Andhra Pradesh supporters marked the agitation against the state's division. People from various walks of life, including lawyers, municipal employees, doctors, students and commercial establishment workers participated in the stir.
Educational, commercial and financial establishments, including banks ATMs, remained closed in the coastal Andhra district for the seventh day. The protesters, including women, raised slogans like 'United Andhra Pradesh zindabad,' and 'Hyderabad belongs to all'.
Police made elaborate security arrangements at the residences of MPs and MLAs. "The protests were peaceful," a police official said. Meanwhile, the East and West Godavari Lawyers Joint Action Committee (JAC) today demanded arrest of TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao for his alleged remarks against employees of the non-Telangana regions working in Hyderabad.
Kadapa district saw rallies, dharnas and relay fasts over the bifurcation issue. The agitators shouted slogans against Rao and also Congress President Sonia Gandhi. Even school going children took part in the protests. Teachers and businesspersons, among others, took out rallies.
A large number of women took out morcha at Rayachoty, Kadapa city, Proddatur, Badvel and Rajampeta areas. Employees of various departments like electricity and NGOs hit the roads and staged dharnas. Small vendors, book sellers, auto drivers, lorry drivers and artisans organised various protest programmes.
Pro-AP supporters assembled near the houses of State Minister C Ramachandraiah and Vijayamma, Pulivendula MLA and YSR Congress Honorary President, and sought their resignation. Municipal employees in the district are boycotting work for the last three days.