A bandh called by YSR Congress, TDP and other political parties is being observed in Seemandhra region of Andhra Pradesh today to protest against passage of the AP Reorganisation Bill-2013 in the Lok Sabha.
TDP MPs shout slogans against the UPA govt and Sonia Gandhi during a protest calling for a united Andhra Pradesh outside the Parliament. (AFP Photo)
The bandh, also supported by APNGOs and different pro-united Andhra Pradesh organisations, is being held in different districts of Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions of the state with police beefing up security to thwart any attempts to disturb law and order.
Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) bus services across Seemandhra region were hit due to the bandh, while educational institutions - government as well as private- remained closed in most parts. Shops and business establishments were also shut at many places.
Hundreds of protesters took to the streets and held rallies, demonstrations and formed human chains in different towns across 13 districts of Seemandhra condemning the decision to divide Andhra Pradesh and raised slogans against the move.
"The bandh has been peaceful so far and there were no reports of any untoward incidents. Bus services were affected in Visakhapatnam, Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts with buses confining to depots," DIG (Visakhapatnam Range) P Umapathi told PTI.
"We are keeping a watch on the situation. Paramilitary and state police forces have been deployed at different locations, including public places, central government offices as a precautionary measure," another police officer said.
A report from Visakhapatnam said the Seemandhra bandh called by the YSRCP and the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) against the bill has generated a partial response today.
Except long route bus services of APSRTC, the other transport vehicles like auto rickshaws and private vehicles were plying as usual. "We have stopped the long route services and were plying city services. If any trouble breaks out then they will also stop the city services," RTC sources said.
Supporters of political parties like TDP, Congress and YSRCP staged dharnas in front of bus depots at Maddilapalem junction protesting against the bifurcation.
Police have tightened the security at all the vulnerable points to maintain law and order.