VISAKHAPATNAM: A near-total shutdown is being observed in the tribal areas of both Telugu states, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, in protest against the Supreme Court verdict scrapping GO no.3 pertaining to reservations to tribals in the recruitment for teacher posts.
The apex court has recently annulled the state government’s GO No.3 which provides a 100 per cent reservation for tribals in the recruitment of teacher posts in scheduled areas. Resenting the Supreme Court order, the ‘GO 3 Sadhana Samithi’ or ‘Committee to fight for GO No.3’, with the support of other tribal groups, has called for an ‘adivasi bandh’ in all agency areas.
As a result, shops and business establishments in 11 mandals of the Visakhapatnam agency area were closed. Incidentally, the bandh call received support from even the outlawed CPI (Maoist). In Seethampeta agency area, tribals squatted on the roads raising slogans against the SC ruling even as shop owners downed their shutters. The protest disrupted vehicular traffic in the town.
Polavaram MLA Tellam Raju promised to take the issue to the notice of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and Tribal Welfare Minister Pushpa Sri Vani. During a series of meetings with several tribal welfare groups (Girijana Sankshema Sanghams) over the issue, he promised to strive until justice is done to them in this regard.
Members of the Adivasi Employees and Teachers’ Associations, Adivasi Rights Group (Adivasi Hakkula Sangham) and Tribal Welfare Group (Girijana Sankshema Sangham) earlier staged a protest in Buttaigudem, Polavaram and other mandals of West Godavari district seeking revision of reservations as per the GO.
Meanwhile, a complete bandh was also observed in the agency areas of Telangana in response to the shutdown call. The bandh was called by the ‘Tudumdebba’ leaders seeking revision of the GO No. 3. The bandh was being enforced in Utnoor, Indravelli, Narnoor, Gandiguda, Jainur, Sirpur agency areas of Adilabad district until Tuesday afternoon. Buses were confined to their respective depots in Utnoor. Police teams were deployed in the area to prevent any untoward incidents during the shutdown time.