Protests turn violent in Andhra Pradesh
Rajiv Gandhi’s statue was cut-off and replaced with the cast of a woman, Rajiv Gandhi statue set on fire by pouring petrol.
The agitation for a united Andhra that had so far been proceeding peacefully in the Port City and north coastal Andhra, took a turn for the worse on Friday with statues of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi being desecrated at Akkayapalem in the city and Anakapalle in Visakhapatnam district and Samaikhyandhra agitators stopping Tirumala Express for nearly 40 minutes at Yelamanchili in Vizag district.
Twelve students were arrested at Dolapeta near Rajam in Srikakulam district on charges of attacking minister Kondru Murali Mohan’s camp office on Friday. More than 150 youth participated in the agitation and demanded the resignation of the minister following the decision on creation of a separate Telangana state. Enraged that the minister had failed to tender his resignation, the youth brigade hurled stones at the camp office damaging the office windows. Police resorted to lathicharge to disperse the protesters and arrested 12 students. TDP activists also stopped APSRTC buses at Vizianagaram.
According to Anakapalle police, five persons set the Rajiv Gandhi statue on fire by pouring petrol at around 1.30am on Thursday night agitated at the decision to divide the state. The five belonging to Gavarapalem area in Anakapalle were arrested on Friday. Police said that the one of the five persons was drunk and set the statue on fire.
In another incident at Akkayapalem in the city, the head of Rajiv Gandhi’s statue was cut-off and replaced with the cast of a woman. The feet and statue of the pedestal were also damaged. City police arrested five persons in connection with the case. Police said that the five persons hailing from Akkayapalem had consumed alcohol and committed the act at around 1.30 am on Thursday night. In both incidents of vandalism, police said the arrested had no party affiliations. Meanwhile, in Vizianagaram, around 50 Samaikhyandra activists stormed in the Congress party office and damaged furniture. What also served to turn up the tempo of the Samaikhyandhra protest in coastal Andhra, which till now was being spearheaded by various Samaikhyandhra JACs, was activists from parties like YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) and TDP jumping onto the Samaikhyandhra bandwagon…Fullstory