Seemandhra employees of secretariat begin strike

    By IANS,

    Hyderabad : Work at the Andhra Pradesh state secretariat came to a halt as employees from Seemandhra region Tuesday began an indefinite strike to protest the bifurcation of the state.

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    Employees from Seemandhra, as the Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra regions are collectively known, struck work, virtually paralyzing the nerve centre of the state administration.

    About 1,800 of the 2,500 regular employees at the secretariat are from Seemandhra. U. Murali Krishna, president of Seemandhra Employees Forum, said employees at all levels were taking part in the strike.

    He said the strike would continue till the Congress Working Committee (CWC) withdraws its July 30 decision to carve out a Telangana state.

    The Seemandhra employees in the state secretariat have been staging daily protests for the last one month.

    They say that the bifurcation would badly affect the interests of employees and other people from Seemandhra living in Hyderabad.

    The protests and counter protests by Seemandhra and Telangana employees have created a tense situation in the secretariat during last few days. The rival groups have nearly come to blows on a few occasions.

    Policemen in large numbers have been deployed at the secretariat to prevent any clash. Tight security has been enforced at the headquarters of electricity department and other government offices in Hyderabad in view of the protests and counter protests.

    Over four lakh government employees and two lakh teachers in Seemandhra are on strike since Aug 13. The administration has come to a halt in all 13 districts of Seemandhra.

    Educational institutions have remained shut while over 12,000 buses of state-run Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) are off the roads, paralyzing road transport.

    Protests against the proposed bifurcation continued for the 35th day. Thousands of people gathered in Anantapur town for ‘Ananta Simha Grajna’ being held by Employees Joint Action Committee.

    Employees, students, lawyers, women and people from other sections of society are participating in the massive public meeting, which will decide the future course of action to intensify the stir.

    Shutdown, rallies, relay hunger strikes and road blockades were continuing in Seemandhra.