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Andhra bandh evokes mixed response
Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad | August 27, 2007 12:19 IST
A series of hoax bomb calls kept the Hyderabad City police on tenterhooks even as Andhra Pradesh bandh (shut-down) called by Bharatiya Janata Party against Saturday's bomb blasts that claimed 40 lives in the city -- evoked mixed response in different parts of the state on Monday.
In the morning, the police received anonymous calls about bombs being planted at three places -- near the Global Hospitals, at the paradise Hotel in Secunderabad and the State Secretariat just across the road from Lumbini Park -- the scene of one of two bomb blasts that rocked Hyderabad on Saturday night.
A passerby spotted an unclaimed briefcase lying near Global Hospitals located close to Rangareddy District Collectorate complex.
On being alerted, a bomb disposal squad reached the place and found that the briefcase was stuffed with clothes.
Subsequently, the police control room received anonymous calls about planting of bombs in the sprawling State Secretariat complex as well as at Paradise Hotel in Secunderabad.
Bomb disposal squads also rushed to these places with sniffer dogs and bomb detectors.
Attendance in the State Secretariat has been less than normal as many government employees absented themselves as the bus services were withdrawn on account of the bandh.
The bandh call, given by BJP, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and other Sangh Parivar outfits, evoked near-total response in Hyderabad and several towns in Telangana region.
However, the bandh was partial in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions.
Shops, cinema theatres, restaurants, petrol bunks, schools, colleges and private establishments remained closed in Hyderabad and several other places in the state.
The state-owned Road Transport Corporation buses were withdrawn in the state capital and other places after the BJP activists picketed the bus depots and did not allow the buses to come out.
Early in the morning, the RTC tried to operate bus services in the city, but nine buses were damaged by BJP activists.
Elsewhere in Telangana districts, scores of BJP activists took to the streets asking shopkeepers and others to close their establishments.
At some places, they attacked the shops which had opened in the morning.
Police rounded up BJP activists at several places for forcing the closure of shops. The state police said the situation was peaceful, barring some stray incidents.