Jagan arrest: Andhra shutdown call evokes poor response
Hyderabad, May 28 (IANS) The YSR Congress Party's call for a daylong Andhra Pradesh shutdown Monday to protest the arrest of its leader Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy had no impact on normal life, barring in his native Kadapa district.
Buses were plying as usual while shops and business establishments remained open in Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada and other major towns across the state.
Large scale arrests of YSR Congress Party leaders and activists across the state also foiled the party's plans to force the shutdown.
Police either rounded up all top leaders or kept them under house arrest to prevent them from going around to force closure of shops or to stop buses. Even the party candidates for Nellore Lok Sabha and 18 assembly by-elections were arrested, evoking sharp protest from the YSR Congress.
Jaganmohan Reddy's mother and YSR Congress honorary president Y.S. Vijayamma wrote a letter to the election commission, lodging her protest over the arrest of party candidates for June 12 by-elections.
The shut-down was total in Kadapa district, the home district of Jagan, as the YSR Congress chief is popularly known. Shops and business establishments remained closed while the buses were taken off the road.
There appeared to be partial response to the shutdown call in the morning as Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) suspended its bus services as a precautionary measure. However, after the arrests of YSR Congress leaders and activists, the buses started plying while shops also opened.
Former MP Mekapati Rajamohan Reddy, who is contesting again from Nellore constituency, was arrested in Nellore along with his supporters.
Police used mild force to arrest YSR Congress spokesman Ambati Rambabu in Guntur. Rambabu and his supporters tried to resist the arrests.
Barring minor incidents of stone pelting at buses, the situation remained peaceful across the state. Police had sounded an alert Sunday night after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested Jagan on grounds of amassing illegal wealth.
YSR party activists staged protests in parts of Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra regions to condemn the arrest. The shutdown had no impact in Telangana region.
Armed policemen and personnel from the Rapid Action Force (RAF) were deployed across the state capital to prevent any incidents of violence.
Prohibitory orders banning assembly of five or more people are already in force in Hyderabad, Kadapa and other parts of the state.
Those arrested in coastal Andhra include former ministers P. Subhash Chandra Bose, B. Srinivas Reddy, Vangaveeti Radha, Bhuma Nagi Reddy and J. Prabhakar Rao. The YSR Congress alleged that a peaceful shutdown was being observed but the government was using force and resorting to indiscriminate arrests.
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