Hyderabad: The Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) on Saturday began a three-day ‘rail blockade’ in the region to press for the demand of creating a separate state.
As the blockade started, police detained hundreds of leaders and activists of Telangana movement.
K Kavita, leader of Telangana Jagruti, a cultural outfit of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), became the first leader to be detained under the Railway Act when she along with others squatted on the railway track at Moula Ali near Hyderabad.
Kavita, daughter of TRS chief K Chandrasekhara Rao, was forcibly lifted by police and shifted to Keesara police station.
Rao`s son and TRS legislator K Taraka Rama Rao, along with scores of leaders and activists of the JAC, were detained at Sitaphalmandi in Secunderabad when they were going to participate in the `rail blockade`.
The TRS leader warned the government of serious consequences if it continued to use police for committing excesses on people participating in the movement.
Three MPs of ruling Congress -- Ponnam Prabhakar, G Vivek and Rajaiah -- were also detained in Karimnagar and Warangal districts when they were going to block the trains.
Dozens of other leaders, including legislators, were either kept under house arrest or were detained while they were heading towards the railway tracks.
The detentions were made across Telangana, which comprises 10 districts including Hyderabad. Over 100 protestors were detained in Mahabubnagar district alone.
In view of the agitation, the Railways have already cancelled 124 trains in Andhra Pradesh’s Telangana region from October 15 to 17.
Among the cancelled trains are 48 express and 76 passenger trains. Railway officials said as many as 38 express and 16 passenger trains would also be partially cancelled during the three days.
Further, the South Central Railway is diverting 68 express trains.
The JAC had earlier twice postponed the rail blockade. The three-day blockade was originally planned on October 9, 10 and 11 but was postponed to October 12, 13 and 14. The JAC again deferred it to October 15, 16 and 17.
The police yesterday said that they would take stern action against protestors who resort to violence.
Meanwhile, Congress MPs said that they would participate in the `rail roko` in support of the separate statehood demand, despite appeals from the party not to do so.
Congress Lok Sabha member G Vivek said demanded that the state government postpone the Group-II examination for recruitment of various posts in the state government and stop the arrests of Telangana agitators.
Also, Congress MLA and former minister Jupally Krishna Rao submitted his resignation from the post in support of the Telangana demand.
TRS president Rao demanded that the ministers quit in support of the separate statehood goal.
(With IANS inputs)