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Horror for Techies as Andhra Cops Refuse Entry

Horror for Techies as Andhra Cops Refuse Entry

Hyderabad: Amid nationwide lockdown and panic over the coronavirus outbreak, hundreds of IT professionals and students from Hyderabad were stopped from crossing the Telangana-Andhra Pradesh border on Wednesday night, despite producing no objection certificates (NOC) issued by the Telangana Police.

Their ordeal, at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi has urged everyone to follow strict social distancing measures to curb the spread of the virus, lasted for several hours due to a miscommunication between the state governments.

The stretch from Hyderabad to Vijayawada witnessed remained unusually busy as a large number of students thronged to go back to their native places in Andhra Pradesh, after being asked by hostels to vacate the premises.

They were stopped by the Andhra Police at the Jagayyapeta check-post. Despite producing an NOC order issued by the Telangana Police, the former did not let people cross the border. A video of hundreds of people stranded at the border also went viral on social media.

Most of them were those techies and students who live in Hyderabad but are originally from the neighbouring Telugu state.

With the number of Covid-19 cases witnessing a rise in Hyderabad, several private hostels in the city have asked people to vacate the premises immediately, citing government orders.

Multiple hostels have put up notices saying people need to vacate within 24 hours as a precautionary measure to ensure social distancing.

The move came despite Telangana government’s clarification that no such orders were issued in any hostels. In fact, helpline numbers were also provided asking people to reach out to the police if hostels try to evacuate people forcefully.

The Telangana Police later issued passes/‘no objection certificates to people who wished to go to their native places in Andhra. 

However, the Andhra Police did not accept the NOC and refused to allow people to cross the border. As a result, a huge crowd swelled up near the border area for hours, led to arguments and chaos.

Following a strict lockdown, both the Telugu states have shut their interstate borders for at least a week.

A few of the passengers who were stuck vented out their ordeal on social media and requested the government to intervene.

“We have no food, no water, we have been here for hours. Why is the AP Police not allowing us? We have a pass from T Police- if they don’t have an understanding, why should we suffer,” a passenger tweeted.

The issue was resolved after several hours when the chief ministers of both states discussed the matter. The Andhra government agreed to allow them into the state and cross the border.

“The passengers will be ferried into the state but will be kept in isolation until health officials screen them,” a note issued by the Andhra government said.

The passengers would be kept at the IIT Nuzvid campus which is closer to the border. The AP government had earlier clarified that it would no longer allow anyone from Telangana to enter the state during the lockdown period.