Hyderabad: Groups opposing bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh observed Monday as the "day of treachery" in Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra regions to mark the fourth anniversary of the central government`s announcement for formation of Telangana state.
Protests marked the day in different parts of Seemandhra, as the two regions are collectively known. Some `Samaikyandhra` or united Andhra supporters also staged protest in Hyderabad, leading to their arrest by police.
It was on this day in 2009 the central government had announced that the process for formation of separate Telangana state would be initiated.
The union cabinet last week approved the draft bill for bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and sent the same to the president for referring the same to state assembly for its views.
Various groups including Samaikya Rashtra Parirakshana Vedika, Andhra Pradesh Non-Gazetted Officers` (APNGOs) Association, Telugu Desam Party and YSR Congress party had called for observing Dec 9, which is also the birthday of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, as the "day of treachery".
Protest rallies were taken out in Anantapur, Guntur, Srikakulam, East Godavari, Visakhapatnam and other districts. Protestors raised slogans against the central government and set afire effigies of Sonia Gandhi.
Shutdown was observed in Anantapur with buses of state-owned Road Transport Corporation remaining off the roads. Shops, business establishments and educational institutions were closed while protestors holding black flags took out rallies.
APNGOs Association president P. Ashok Babu and other leaders were arrested in Hyderabad when they tried to stage a sit-in at the statue of "Telugu talli".
Earlier, Ashok Babu told reporters that they would lay siege to assembly when the bill comes before the house. He said national highways and railway tracks would be blocked while electricity production would be stopped to force the central government to keep the state united.