Protests for, against Telangana state on again in Andhra

Hyderabad, Jan 17 (IANS) Protests for and against Telangana state resumed in Andhra Pradesh with various groups taking to streets in Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam.

Students of Osmania University and activists of Telangana Jagruthi, the cultural arm of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) tried to disrupt a meeting of Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and Andhra regions) leaders in Hyderabad.

Police arrested the protestors, who alleged that the meeting was a conspiracy to stall formation of Telangana state.

Some protestors also tried to lay siege to the house of state minister Viswaroop. They also pelted stones on another minister Danam Nagender, who hails from Hyderabad but wants separate statehood to Hyderabad. The minister himself caught one of the protestors and handed him over to police.

Students opposing Seemandhra meeting also tried to take out a rally from Osmania University but police stopped them from coming out of the campus. Seemandhra leaders made it clear that any move to divide the state would be unacceptable.

Leaders and activists of Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) staged a silent protest at Telangana Martyrs' Memorial near state assembly building. Leaders of various constituents of JAC demanded the central government announce formation of Telangana state by Jan 28.

"No force can stop formation of Telangana. It is inevitable," said JAC convenor M. Kodandaram.

Leaders of TRS, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress, Communist Party of India (CPI) and other groups participated in the protest.

On the other hand, those opposing Telangana state took out a rally in coastal city of Visakhapatnam in Andhra region. Samaikhya Andhra (united Andhra) JAC demanded that the public representatives from Seemandhra mount pressure on the central government to keep the state united.

Some protestors tried to change the name of a restaurant. They tried to remove the board of 'Hyderabad House' and write 'Samaikhya Andhra House'. Police arrested the protestors.

The state had been witnessing protests both for and against Telangana state in since December 2009. There were frequent strikes, road and rail blockades in Telangana and Seemandhra regions in late and early 2010.

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