Tension prevailed in Vizianagaram town and other parts of the district for the third day on Sunday, as anti-bifurcation agitators hit the streets despite a curfew and pelted police with stones.
Police fired rubber bullets in the air at Kothapeta area on the outskirts of the town in response to the stone-pelting, and lathicharged a crowd in Palliveedhi area on Sunday. Satyna Engineering College, run by family members of the Andhra Pradesh Congress chief B. Satyanarayana, at Gajularega on the outskirts of Vizianagaram, was also targeted.
The agitators were not deterred by the curfew and the shoot-at-sight orders issued to police last night. Some protesters were taken into custody, police said. The curfew was imposed in the town in the wake of large-scale violence on Saturday.
Vizianagaram, a town in coastal Andhra, has been roiling since the Union Cabinet's October 3 decision to create the state of Telangana out of the state of Andhra Pradesh.
"Lot of violence was reported, with the protesters indulging in arson, looting shops, setting a bank on fire, and damaging public and private properties. In view of the violence, authorities ordered a curfew late last night," Dwaraka Tirumala Rao, IGP (North Coastal Zone), told PTI.
The 48-hour bandh called by Andhra Pradesh Non-Gazetted Officers Association got over last night. The situation in Seemandhra, overall, was under control, the IGP said.
In Vizianagaram, protesters have been targeting the properties of Satyanarayana and his family members over the last two days. They also burned vehicles, set fire to the district cooperative central bank, a college and cable network run by Satyanarayna's family members.
In a pitched battle between police and protesters, nearly two dozen police personnel, including Vizianagaram DSP Krishna Prasanna, sustained injuries yesterday. Additional forces are being deployed.
Meanwhile, police have taken into custody over 100 pro-united Andhra agitators for allegedly indulging in violence in Vizianagaram and surrounding areas, a senior official said.
Central para-military forces and state police personnel are deployed in large numbers in the town and its outskirts, he said, adding Rapid Action Force (RAF) men held march near Clock Tower and Fort areas and on streets leading to Botsa's residence.
"The situation is under control. However, some anti-social elements are spreading rumours through internet and mobile phones (SMSs) saying three persons died during protests. There is no truth in this.
"We have identified the persons behind these acts and have also rounded-up many of them and are questioning them," the senior police officer, who, along with IGP (North-Coastal Zone) Dwaraka Tirumala Rao and other top police officers, was camping in Vizianagaram town since yesterday.
Earlier in the day, unidentified anti-Telangana activists hurled stones at police injuring two personnel at Kanykaparameswsari temple prompting police to lathi charge the agitators.
At least 30 agitators received bleeding injuries in police action and were admitted to local hospitals.
Police also caned agitators at Dasannapeta Rythu bazar when they pelted them with stones.
Pro-united Andhra protesters raised slogans against police and government when some women drawing water from road-side pipes at a residential colony on the outskirts of Vizianagaram were caned by police.
According to reports, nearly 20 police personnel were injured in stone throwing by agitators since yesterday. At some places, people who had no knowledge about imposition of curfew and related violence were seen moving on the streets as usual.