Police foil Telangana march, hundreds arrested

Hyderabad, June 14 (IANS) Largescale arrests of Telangana activists here Friday foiled the march called by the Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) to press the demand for separate state but the protests at various places in the city threw the normal life out of gear.

Hundreds of people including MPs, state legislators, leaders of political parties, students, lawyers, women and others were arrested in Hyderabad and other parts of Telangana to foil the march.

Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) has called for a shutdown in Telangana Saturday to condemn the crackdown. TRS chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao demanded immediate release of all those arrested.

Hyderabad turned into a war zone with police sealing all routes leading to the Andhra Pradesh assembly to prevent protesters people from laying siege to the building.

Sporadic incidents of violence were reported from parts of the city. Top leaders of JAC and legislators were arrested at various places for defying prohibitory orders.

While police heaved a sigh of relief over the day passing off without any major trouble, the JAC claimed a moral victory.

JAC chairman M. Kodandaram, Srinivas Goud and others were arrested when they gathered at Indira Park to march towards the assembly.

Tension prevailed at the site as protestors stoned the policemen deployed in large numbers to prevent any gathering. Police retaliated with tear gas.

TRS politburo member Shravan fell unconscious when police were forcibly shifting him. He was taken to a hospital.

Osmania University also witnessed violence. Students, stopped by police from taking out a rally, resorted to stone throwing. The police responded with tear gas. Four students were injured in the clashes.

Though the day people from various walks of life including journalists and lawyers came out on streets in batches and tried to march toward the assembly.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Vidyasagar Rao sustained minor injury in a police baton charge near Indira Park. Police arrested him and party activists when they were took out a rally.

BJP state president G. Kishan Reddy, senior leaders Bandaru Dattatreya, Indrasena Reddy and G. Lakshman were also arrested.

Legislators of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), BJP and Communist Party of India (CPI) and those of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) from the region were arrested in the assembly when they staged protests.

Two TRS legislators who climbed on the assembly building and hoisted a black flag were brought down and arrested. Other party legislators conducted a mock funeral of Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy.

The protests by legislators led to the adjournment of the house for the day.

TRS MPs G. Vivek and Manda Jagannatham and other party leaders were arrested at Nizam Club near the assembly. Another TRS MP, Vijayshanti, and her supporters were also arrested.

TRS chief Rao's daughter Kavitha was taken into custody at Indira Park.

Also arrested were CPI state secretary K. Narayana and his supporters when they tried to proceed towards the assembly.

The protests and the unprecedented traffic restrictions hit normal life in parts of the city. The commuters were hit hard by traffic restrictions in a two kilometer radius around the assembly in the heart of the city.

There was no impact on life in other parts of the city and the IT district of Cyberabad, the hub of national and multinational software giants.

About 15,000 policemen and personnel from central paramilitary forces were deployed as part of the security arrangements.

Police entered the office of the Communist Party of India (CPI) and arrested 30 leaders and activists. A party leader was injured in baton charge.

Schools and colleges in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad remained closed.

Almost all Multi Modal Transport System (MMTS) or suburban trains have been cancelled while some trains coming to Hyderabad from other parts of Telangana were cancelled or terminated on the city outskirts.