Seemandhra teachers to join stir against bifurcation

Hyderabad, Aug 20 : The indefinite strike by the government employees in Seemandhra regions of Andhra Pradesh to oppose the state's bifurcation is set to intensify with the teachers also deciding to join the stir from Thursday.

As the street protests against the central government's decision continued for the 21st day while over four lakh government employees stayed away from duties for the second week in Seemandhra, as Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra regions are together known, the teachers also decided to join the protest.

Demanding the central government reverse its decision to carve out separate Telangana state, about 2.5 lakh teachers will participate in the strike, said G. Srinivasulu Naidu, a leader of Samaikyandhra teachers' struggle committee and a member of state legislative council.

The political turmoil following July 30 decision has badly affected the educational institutions and the decision by the teachers is likely to paralyse schools.

The normal life in 13 districts of Seemandhra continued to be hit by the protests and the strike, which has paralysed the administration. Over 12,000 buses of state-owned Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) remained off the roads for the eighth consecutive

In another development, Seemandhra employees of state secretariat decided to go on indefinite strike from Sep 2. The leaders of the employees will serve strike notice Wednesday.

They said they would not be afraid of Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) invoked by the state government.

The employees had been staging protests to oppose state's division but had not formally joined the strike by their counterparts in Seemandhra.

Their strike will completely bring to halt the work in the seat of governance. The employees Tuesday staged a protest on the secretariat premises. Wearing black T-shirts, they raised slogans of in support of united Andhra.

To counter the protests by Seemandhra employees, their counterparts from Telangana region decided to conduct a peace rally at the state secretariat on Thursday.

Telangana Non-Gazetted Officers (TNGO) Association president Devi Prasad said they were demanding the central government immediately initiate measures for formation of Telangana state.

Andhra Pradesh Non-Gazetted Officers (APNGO) Association, which represents the Seemandhra employees, said it would intensify the strike from Sep 2. APNGO president P. Ashok Babu told a rally in Vijayanagaram that if the state was divided, Congress would be buried in Seemandhra.

Massive protests against state's bifurcation rocked Seemandhra Tuesday. Political workers, students, employees, lawyers, workers and people from other sections of society took out rallies, staged sit-in, road blockades and formed human chains.

Thousands of people participated in road blockade at Ravulapalem in East Godavari district, leading to traffic jam on Chennai-Kolkatta national highway for several hours.

--IANS (Posted on 20-08-2013)

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