Protests rock Telangana as centre delays decision

Hyderabad, Jan 28 (IANS) A day after the central government indefinitely postponed its decision on the Telangana issue, the region was rocked by protests with proponents of a separate state taking to the streets.

There were also protests in the other two regions - Rayalseema and Andhra - demanding that Andhra Pradesh be kept united.

Scores of pro-Telangana protestors were arrested by police in Hyderabad, Warangal and other parts of the region. Rallies were taken out and meetings were held to condemn the statement of union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde and Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, who is in charge of the state.

In an innovative protest, Telangana activists staged a demonstration with dogs, seeking to compare the central government's attitude towards Telangana with the dog's barking.

In Hyderabad, police arrested revolutionary balladeer Gadar, who was leading a rally to Telangana Martyrs' Memorial at Gun Park near the state assembly. Dozens of students marching towards Gun Park were also detained.

Telangana Rashtriya Lok Dal activists were taken into custody when they tried to lay siege to the state assembly. Protestors trying to march towards Raj Bhavan and also those attempting to lay siege to MLA Quarters were also arrested.

For the second consecutive day, the Osmania University here remained tense with police not allowing students to take out a rally. Raising slogans of "Jai Telangana", the students tried to march towards Gun Park near the state assembly but were pushed back by police, who closed the university gates.

Police arrested over 30 students at the Nizam College in the heart of the city when they tried to take out a rally to Telangana Martyrs' Memorial at Gun Park.

Tension also prevailed at Indira Park, where Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) members continued their protest for the second day.

Students trying to take out a rally from Indira Park clashed with police when they were stopped. Some protestors removed barricades but were stopped by police officials, who did not allow them to proceed on the ground that no prior permission was taken for the rally.

Students were also stopped from joining the protest at Indira Park as police had Sunday granted permission for demonstrations there on the condition that no more than 2,000 people would participate in it.

Communist Party of India (CPI) state secretary K. Narayana and other party leaders and activists reached Indira Park in a rally.

The numbers at Indira Park swelled since morning as students and leaders of various parties also joined the protest.

There were also protests at the Kakatiya University in Warangal town.

Some pro-Telangana students with petrol bottles in their hands climbed on a building, threatening to commit suicide if other students arrested by the police were not released. The arrests were made when students were trying to take out a rally. The protestors relented after university authorities gave them an assurance.

Students of Telangana University in Nizamabad district blockaded the highway, condemning the central government's attitude towards Telangana.

Meanwhile, protests continued in Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and Andhra regions) opposing possible division of Andhra Pradesh. Hundreds of people participated in a massive rally in Tirupati. Journalists also joined the protest demanding that the central government keep the state united.

Lawyers took out a bike rally in Kurnool, demanding that any plans to bifurcate the state be dropped.

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