Life hit in parts of AP due to bandh over power rates hike



Hyderabad: The state-wide bandh called by Opposition parties in Andhra Pradesh to protest the hike in power tariff evoked partial response and was by and large peaceful.

The shutdown crippled normal life in some districts while its impact was marginal in the state capital.

The bandh call was given by Left parties and supported by main Opposition Telugu Desam Party and YSR Congress, among others. BJP had given a separate call.

Public transportation in most parts of the state was affected in the morning due to participation of some of the employee unions in the strike and also due to suspension of bus services in some pockets following protests.

Government offices across the state witnessed thin attendance. Banking services were normal in Hyderabad though they were affected in other parts of the state.

Shops and business establishments downed their shutters at some places in Hyderabad, while some educational institutions in the city had already postponed their exams.

Hyderabad Range DIG Y Nagi Reddy told PTI that the bandh passed off peacefully. RTC buses kept off the road in morning hours but resumed services after 10 am. Private educational institutions remained closed in Hyderabad and neighbouring districts, he said.

Police resorted to arrests and preventive custody at many places after protesters attempted to block traffic on roads. Over 950 protesters were arrested from various places in the state capital.

Raising slogans like 'the protests will continue till the power tariff hike is rolled back', leaders and activists of Opposition parties held demonstrations in front of bus depots. They squatted on roads in different districts across Andhra Pradesh, prompting police to arrest them.

Police took CPI State Secretary K Narayana and his CPM counterpart B V Raghavulu in preventive custody when they tried to hold protests and block movement of buses here.

"This is not the end...This is just the beginning. Until the Government rolls back the hike in power tariff various agitations will be undertaken, including march to Assembly," Narayana asserted.

PTI