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Over 1,000 people returning to AP stranded at border

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Amaravati, Mar 26: More than 1,000 people who set off from Hyderabad, the capital of neighbouring Telangana, to various districts in Andhra Pradesh were stranded since Wednesday afternoon at the Garikapadu check-post on the inter-state border as the police refused to allow them passage.

Intervention of the local MLA and Government Whip Samineni Udayabhanu did not help as he blamed lack of coordination between the two states' authorities for the situation.

Samineni Udayabhanu

Local Deputy Superintendent of Police Ramana Murthy said since the lockdown was in force and the inter-state borders have been sealed, no vehicle or person could be allowed into the state.

The stranded passengers were facing hardship as there was no water or food in the vicinity.

Also, the panic-stricken passengers were huddled in a group as they awaited some intervention from the higher-ups to end the impasse.

The passengers, including a few women and children, set off from Hyderabad in cabs after obtaining special travel permits from the local police.

After a smooth ride up to Garikapadu, the border between the two states, the vehicles were stopped around 3.30 pm, leaving the passengers stranded.

"We are a group of students and have been asked to vacate our hostels. The Hyderabad police gave us special travel permit to return to our native place and accordingly we hired a cab and started our journey this morning. We were blocked at this place as the AP police are unwilling to let us in," a student said.

Another person said he was travelling with his wife, who was nine months pregnant, after a medical check-up in Hyderabad.

"Despite our situation, the police are not willing to let us travel to our destination," he said.

The local MLA arrived on the scene on Wednesday night and took up the stranded passengers' case with the police but to no avail.

"Those who were going to Guntur from Hyderabad were allowed via Piduguralla but here they blocked everything. There is a clear lack of coordination between the officials of the two states," Udayabhanu said.

He said the passengers could be permitted to journey further after conducting the required thermal screening tests.

The Andhra Pradesh government or the police were yet to take a decision on the stranded passengers when reports last came in on Wednesday night.

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