Anti-T protesters defy shoot orders
Violence continued in Vizianagaram town in coastal Andhra on Sunday despite indefinite curfew and shoot-at-sight orders issued to tackle protests which broke out after the Union Cabinet’s decision to divide the state.
Anti-bifurcation agitators remained undeterred and indulged in fresh clashes with police on Sunday, violating the curfew imposed on Saturday night. People took to the streets and pelted policemen with stones while the cops resorted to lathi-charge. Police also fired rubber bullets as agitators, including women, attacked them with stones. Additional police and paramilitary forces were deployed in the hometown of state Congress chief Botsa Satyanarayana as tension prevailed in the town and other parts of the district for the third day.
Meanwhile, an indefinite, lightning strike by electricity employees on Sunday hit power supply in almost all 13 districts of the Seemandhra region forcing the Railways to cancel several trains, particularly in the Chennai-Nellore section. The Tirumala Tirupati Devastanams (TTD) had to limit power supply to Ananda Nilayam, the sanctum sanctorum of Lord Venkateswara in Tirumala.
The situation, however, improved by Sunday night with the employees agreeing to restore power supply to the hills keeping in view the ongoing Brahmotsavam. The TTD has kept the lights on temple premises with the help of two generators for most part of Sunday morning. “We have cut down power to guesthouses and choultries,” TTD JEO Srinivas said.
Hundreds of villages in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema districts were plunged into darkness as electricity employees went on an indefinite strike hours after a 48-hour general strike which almost crippled the southern grid with an estimate shortfall of 7000 MW.
Even as the AP Transco authorities tried to distribute power on hourly basis shuffling between colonies and towns, power supply to parts of West Godavari district, the last district, snapped on Sunday.
Power Employees Joint Action Committee chairman R Sai Baba announced that there would be no exemption to emergency services like hospitals, water supply and agriculture. He said the strike would continue till the Centre withdraws its decision to bifurcate the state. The strike may also hit transmission in Hyderabad and other parts of Telangana region.