Andhra Leaks Part 7: All In The Name of A Steel Plant

Seemandhra leaders accuse Telangana agitation of being violent. But the fact remains that the only violence that has happened in this movement is the sad suicides of over 600 Telangana youngsters.

It is remarkable that such a mighty people’s movement is continuing peacefully for over the last 18 months now. But, the Seemandhra leadership is carrying on its Goebbels propaganda on Telangana movement.

We, at Mission Telangana, thought this is the apt time to remind our Seemandhra leadership about a ‘peaceful’ movement they ran to attain a Steel Plant at Visakhapatnam.

When we know more about the orgy of violence unleashed by Seemandhra leadership during the “Visakha Steel Plant” agitation, we will understand how peaceful Telangana agitation is.

These are excerpts from The Indian Express newspaper between October 30th and November 3rd 1966. Read them to understand how ‘peacefully’ Seemandhra leaders run their movements:

(Note: These are the exact words from the newspaper reports)

October 30th , 1966

“…an unruly crowd destroyed communication equipment at Kottapalam, about seven miles from Waltair. The reports also said that the demonstrators had broken glass panes of the railway cabin at Gopalapatnam and tampered with the wagons of a goods train at Simhachalam to immobilize it.

“ At Eluru, ten passengers were reported to have been injured as a result of heavy stone throwing by students on the Renigunta-Kakinada passenger after an attempt to halt the train was foiled.”

Nov 1st  1966

Vijayawada: “Three persons were killed and 17 were injured in a police firing today as the whole town was caught up in a day-long orgy of violence and looting triggered by Steel Plant agitation.

Police opened fire at Guntur after a half-hour battle with a mob which attacked the Lalapet police station. Two persons were injured; one seriously.

“Police opened fire in Vijayawada at 3:30 PM after a several-hundred strong crowd of students and others had stormed the Governorpet police station.

The crowd entered the station, burnt records, furniture and cartridges and blocked up the road in front. An hour-long running battle between the police and the crowd which retreated after police had opened fire. In the retreat, the crowd entered a cinema house and ransacked it.

“..As the procession reached the railway station, a section of students entered it and attacked everything in sight. The ice-cream parlour was torn apart and biscuit packets were thrown about the platform. Hundreds of fluorescent lamps were broken. The bookstall was emptied and the books were flung here and there. The train indication panel was smashed. Cigarette and fruit vendors were also attacked.

“A student group entered the telephone exchange at noon and forced the staff to get out. Their lunch carriers were thrown out after them.”

Police said that anti-social elements took to the streets in the afternoon, looting a sweetmeat shop, a cool drink shop and half a dozen cloth shops on the Besant Road.”

“At Chirala in Guntur district, the telephone exchange was raided by students, Equipment was damaged.

In Guntur town itself, a mob tried to attack the Collectorate and was dispersed by teargas.

The students also caused considerable damage to the Head Post Office and telephone exchange and telegraph office. They brought the furniture from the police club to the road and burnt them. Later the mob attacked the police station and the police opened fire injuring two.

At Kurnool, a large crowd of students held up trains and threw stones at station building and at trains.

Telegraph wires were cut at Yelamanchili and Narasingapalle and at Vemur, Signaling gear was damaged at the south cabin at Nidubrole.

Lights and fans from standing trains and from the station platforms were removed or damaged at Guntur.

Late night a crowd broke into the Simhachalam station and destroyed railway property.

Nov 2nd 1966

“five persons were killed today in Visakhapatnam, three in police firing and two other when an arms and ammunition dealer shot at a crowd raiding his shop, according to reports reaching here. At least eight persons were injured in the police firing.

Raiders were said to have carried away two hundred guns and ammunition from the arms shop.

Police opened fire to quell a 3000 strong crowd, which tried to storm the head post office in the morning.

“A large crowd early this morning set fire to the Kottavalasa railway station 26 kilometers from Waltair. Station records and furniture were burnt.

A diesel engine and a wagon containing motor trucks was also set on fire. One cabin at the station was completely destroyed as also telephones and other instruments. The roof of the station building collapsed.

A 2000 strong crowd set fire to the booking office, the waiting room and the parcel office at Masulipatnam. Some parcels were destroyed and several were taken away. Carriages of standing trains were damaged.

The Tanuku station was attacked by a 1000 strong mob which broke every window and door there and ransacked the parcel office. The entire stock of the tickets and office records were burnt and considerable damage was caused to the cabin.

At Mangalagiri station, the parcel office was set on fire after a fairly big mob had damaged the furniture in the booking and parcel office.

Signal wires and lamps were also broken at Kovvur.

Two passenger bogies were set ablaze at Narsaraopet. At the Biccavol railway station platform bulbs, furniture, window panes and signal glasses were destroyed.

At Parvatipuram, railway station was stoned at 10 AM resulting in a cabin being badly damaged. At Vijayanagaram, a mob took away a motor truck belonging to the Railways. A carriage was burnt down.

The police opened fire at a mob while it attacked the Lalapet police station in Guntur. At the railway station, the parcel office and ticket counter were set ablaze.

Crowds also set fire to the Office of the Deputy Commissioner of Commercial Taxes, the old and new municipal offices and 70 year old municipal library destroying all the books and equipment at the last place. The gates of Canara Bank building were broken open and records were set ablaze. An unsuccessful attempt was made to break open the cash box.

The godowns of the Consumer Cooperative Society were looted and set fire to. Records were also burnt at the Employment Exchange.

Nov 3rd 1966

The death toll in the steel plant agitation in Andhra soared to 17 today when two more persons were killed in police firing in Vizianagarm in Visakhapatnam district.

“ The mob had attacked a police station this morning in a bid to secure the release of some persons arrested yesterday following the incident of ‘dacoity and arson’ at the pay office of the State Bank at Vizianagaram”

“At Nandyal, a mob set fire to a van, damaged signaling and other equipment and removed engineering material. Railway sleepers were burnt at Phirangipuram railway station in Guntur disctrict. Students entered the Indupalli railway station, this afternoon and destroyed tickets and records in the station masters office.

A report from Nellore said the railway cabin, engine room and the station premises at Naidupet railway station, about 45 miles from Nellore were damaged this afternoon by an unruly mob.

A Civil Supplies check post at Vavilatipadu near Singarayakonda, 70 miles from Nellore was raided by miscreants.

The Samalkot railway station was raided by a mob which broke open a cabin, cut off all signal wires, broke signal, damaged level-crossing gates and smashed lights on the platform.

The mob also looted three parcel vans of the 3 Up Madras-Howrah Express and set fire to two bogies of an empty passenger train.

A 200 strong crowd attacked Narsipatnam station with deadly weapons and set fire to the station building. At Bhattiprolu about 500 demonstrators attacked the railway station. At Narsaraopet a parcel bogey was burnt.

Denduluru and Bhimadol station were completely torn apart. At Pithapuram block instruments were damaged as also platform lights and control wires. A cabin was set on fire at Bapatla.

The reports said police opened fire at Srikakulam and Bandar yesterday to disperse violent mobs which caused damage to railway and post office property.

The Pendurthy railway station in Visakhapatnam and a post office in Srikakulam were burnt down. A compartment of a stationary train was ser ablaze at a station in Srikakulam district.

Fishplates were found removed on the Secunderebad-Bangalore line, near the Engineering College at Anantapur. Telephone poles had been uprooted nearby and telegraph wires cut.

The Kadiri railway station was stoned in the night by a mob which beat up the railway gateman.

At Nandyal, a large quantity of engineering material was taken away from the permanent way inspector’s office.

“ A few persons entered the civil court in Vijayawada, snatched away some records and destroyed them.”


Read previous parts of the Andhra Leaks Series here:

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