VISAKHAPATNAM: There was near shutdown in Vizag Agency on Monday in response to the Maoists’ bandh call to protest the `fake’ encounter of top leader Cherukuri Raj Kumar alias Azad. Tribals did not venture out of their homes during the bandh.
While government offices, schools, business establishments and shops were closed in most areas, even RTC buses did not ply. The bandh was observed in Chintapally, G K Veedhi, G Madugula, Pedabayalu, Munchingput, Hukumpeta and parts of Vizianagaram and Srikakulam Agency areas also.
Apprehending violence following Saturday’s torching of an RTC bus at Munchingput in Paderu area, police beefed up security in all the tribal-populated mandals. Even private vehicles, which cater to transportation of tribals, did not ply fearing attacks from the Maoists.
While police parties undertook extensive combing at G K Veedhi and Chintapalli mandals, Galikonda area committee commander Krishna warned the police of reprisals if they didn’t stop harassing people. “The police have illegally arrested 75 people in Galikonda area in the past two and a half years,” Krishna alleged.
An alleged militant and remand prisoner of Visakha central jail Gemmeli Sobhan Babu died three days ago following harassment by police. “Without seeking court’s permission the cops were interrogating Sobhan Babu which is against human rights,” he charged.