Hyderabad,Dec 14: The arrest of Vijayawada Member of Parliament Lagadapati Rajgopal at Shamsabad airport of Hyderabad on Monday triggered protests in Andhra and Rayalaseema regions with Vijayawada bearing the brunt with a few of his supporters trying unsuccessfully to immolate themselves near the Andhra Ratna Bhavana in Vijayawada.As soon as the news of the arrest spread, his supporters tried to lock themselves in the Congress office and raised slogans.The alert police,however, responded in time and seized some bottles containing kerosene from them.This could prevent an apparent immolation bid by his supporters.
Immediately,some supporters of the MP organized rasta-rokos at Benz circle and Moghalrajpuram and held up traffic for quite some time. Some other youth got themselves tonsured as a mark of protest for the arrest of their leader.Vijayawada observed a bandh for the fourth consecutive day on Monday with business houses and educational institutions remaining closed.
The APSRTC operated only a limited services in the city and a few buses on long-distant routes.Meanwhile,six women Congress workers climbed the Water Tank at Indoor Stadium and threatened to jump to death in the event of their arrested MP not let off immediately. They, however, were didsuaded by other cadres and policemen present at the spot.The policemen, earlier prevented MayorM.V Ratna Bindu and other supporters from visiting Hyderabad. TDP MLA Devineni Umamaheswara Rao also condemned the arrest of Rajgopal.
In Tirupati, Congress workers blocked road traffic at Gandhi Circle in protest against the arrest of Lagadapati and demanded that the leader be released immediately.Andhra University students took out a rally and burnt the effigy of the police in front of the police station at Eluru, condemning the arrest of Rajagopal.Meanwhile, Telugu Desam supremo N Chandrababu Naidu, talking to newsmen here, condemned the arrest of L Rajagopal and requested the agitators to observe restraint and not to be carried away by emotions.