Organisers firm on stir for Andhra Pradesh special status

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On Tuesday, 500 Andhra Youth volunteers visited colleges in the city and in the industrial town of Gajuwaka.

Visakhapatnam: Despite indications of a police clampdown, the organisers of a silent protest for special status are determined to go ahead with the event as planned. The protest will be held at RK Beach on January 26.

Organisers of the event are making an attempt to educate people on the importance of the special status tag, via posts on social media platforms like Twitter. Every day, a new ha-shtag is used, to keep the momentum going. On Tuesday, the hashtag #callingyouthofandhra was us-ed, which was seen in the trending category on Twitter, with over 30,000 tweets by afternoon. Every eveni-ng, a new hashtag is unveiled. The police is keeping a watch on such social media groups and forums for details of the protest, and may impose controls on the January 26 event, citing Section 144.

A group of youngsters, who claim to have been inspired by the online campaign for special category status, have formed a for-um called the Andhra Youth. “We don’t know who started the online campaign, but it has helped create a buzz about the importance of the issue. To keep up the momentum, we have decided to lend our support to the January 26 protest. We are going door to door and to colleges, to explain the issue to people, and to tell them about the programme. We want the protest to proceed without any disturbances. It will only be a silent protest to act as a wake-up call for the Union Government, which has so far been silent on the issue of special category status. Republic Day is the right time for this event, since it is an issue that is related to our right to special category status. We can neither postpone nor cancel the event, as it has already gone viral on social media,” said J. Satish, representative of the Andhra Youth.

Sources in the organisers’ camp say that people from the neighbouring districts of Vizianagaram, Sikakulam and East Godavari are also expected to participate in the silent protest.

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