No police permission, but JAC firm on Telangana protest

Hyderabad, Jan 26 (IANS) Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) fighting for a separate state has decided to go ahead with its two-day protest here from Sunday despite police refusal for permission while Osmania University students tried to lay siege to Raj Bhavan Saturday evening.

Joint Action Committee (JAC) convenor M. Kodandaram told reporters Saturday that they would organise the 'Samara deeksha' protest on a large scale at Indira Park to press the central government to make an announcement for statehood to Telangana by Jan 28.

A delegation of JAC leaders called on Home Minister Sabita Indra Reddy after police refused to give them permission to hold the protest. She assured the delegation that she would take a decision after talking to the officials.

"Even if we don't get permission, we will go ahead with samara deeksha," said Kodandaram, who earlier in the day called on Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao to request him to participate in the protest.

The JAC leader has already threatened a peaceful militant agitation if the central government failed to carve out a Telangana state.

Meanwhile, students from Osmania University tried to lay siege to Raj Bhavan Saturday evening. The protestors were arrested when they tried to advance towards Raj Bhavan, where Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan was hosting a tea party for Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy, ministers and top officials on the occasion of the Republic Day.

Kodandaram criticised the government for refusing the JAC a permission for the meeting but allowing Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and Andhra) leaders to hold meetings and "spew venom" against Telangana.

He alleged that the speakers at the meeting held at Rajahamundry insulted the Telangana movement and hurt sentiments of the people.

The JAC and other pro-Telangana groups have announced protest programmes over the next days to demand that the central government make the announcement on Telangana before the one-month deadline passes.

Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde had stated after Dec 28 all-party meeting that a decision would be made within a month. However, Congress general secretary Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is in-charge of party affairs in the state, said earlier this week that a decision was not likely by Jan 28.

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