Thousands attend Telangana March amid clashes
Hyderabad: Tension gripped Hyderabad as violent clashes broke out between pro-Telangana supporters and the police in several parts of the city on Sunday when the activists defied prohibitory orders and joined the 'Telangana march' in a massive show of solidarity for a separate state.
Violating prohibitory orders, the Telangana supporters headed towards the Necklace Road at Hussain Sagar lake, the venue of the event, and clashed with security personnel on their way.
Incidents of violence were reported from the Osmania University campus, Khairatabad and the Andhra Pradesh Secretariat.
When they were stopped from passing by the Secretariat road and some other areas where prohibitory orders were in place, the protesters pelted stones and tried to remove the barricades which prompted the security personnel to lob tear gas shells after trying to chase them away.
"Protesters were directionless on their way towards the venue. They tried to proceed through prohibited areas," Director General (law and order) S A Huda said.
"We have been monitoring the situation. It is tense but under control," he said.
The protesters torched two police vehicles at People's Plaza on the Necklace Road, police said.
Violence erupted on the Osmania University campus here after pro-Telangana students clashed with police when they were prevented from taking out a rally to join the 'Telangana March'.
Police used water cannons and lobbed teargas shells on pro-Telangana supporters near the venue as some of them allegedly tried to defy the orders and proceeded towards the Secretariat.
Permission was granted to organise the 'Telangana March' from 3 PM to 7 pm at the Necklace Road, after talks were held between the government and the Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC).
Roads leading to the Secretariat, Chief Minister's Office
and other high security areas were barricaded.
In Osmania University, a large number of slogan-shouting students were seen breaking barricades on the campus. They pelted stones at policemen, who retaliated by firing tear-gas shells. Some students were also taken into preventive custody.
Pro-Telangana activists belonging to various students organisations tried to take out a rally to join the 'Telangana March', but they could not do so as the government had yesterday denied them permission.
Police also caned scores of Telangana activists after they pelted stones at them near the Secretariat, IMAX theatre, Khairatabad and other places on way to Necklace Road.
Earlier in the day, Congress MPs from Telangana region were detained when they staged a dharna at the camp office of Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy as they were not allowed to meet him over the detention of Telangana supporters, who were on their way to Hyderabad to participate in the march.
The MPs, including Manda Jagannadham, Madhu Yashki Goud, G Vivek, Gutta Sukhender Reddy, Rajaiah, and former MP K Keshav Rao, wanted to meet the Chief Minister at his camp office.
Goud was seen engaged in a heated argument with the police when they tried to stop him from proceeding towards the camp office.
"Party workers from my constituency were coming to Hyderabad for the march but they were stopped and detained. I am getting calls. Other Congress MPs were also getting similar calls. We wanted to meet the chief minister. But we were not allowed. The chief minister did not meet us...So we held the dharna," he said.
Appealing to Telangana supporters to conduct the 'march' peacefully, state Panchayat Raj Minister K Jana Reddy, a senior leader from Telangana, said the ministers were not averse to quitting their posts, if warranted.
State Home Minister P Sabita Reddy, who also hails from Telangana region, appealed to the statehood supporters to organise the event peacefully.
Leaders of various political parties and outfits, including TRS, BJP, alleged that thousands of pro-Telangana supporters and their activists were taken into preventive custody when they were on their way to participate in the march.
They condemned the "high-handed behaviour" of the government towards Telangana supporters.
Police have made elaborate security arrangements by deploying several companies of para-military forces in the city.
Apparently fearing violence, the South Central Railway today cancelled as many as 27 passengers trains, including local trains. The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation curtailed some bus services in the city.
The DGP, who conducted an aerial survey of the city to monitor the security arrangements and movement of marches, had earlier warned of stern action against law-breakers.
Meanwhile, state Panchayat Raj Minister K Jana Reddy, a senior leader from Telangana, appealed to the JAC to end its protest.
"The 'Telangana March' is successful. My appeal to the organisers of the march is that you have expressed the views of people. We have noted that the march is successful. You are continuing your protest. We will continue our efforts with the high command towards addressing the issue. I appeal that you withdraw from the venue now," Jana Reddy, who played an important role in holding talks with the JAC over the march, said.
The Congress MPs from Telangana, who were detained earlier, held a meeting tonight.
Talking to reporters after the meeting, former MP K Keshav Rao said AICC Secretary and MLC P Sudhakar Reddy would go to Delhi to explain the prevailing situation to the party's central leaders.
He came down heavily on the state government for the "arrests" of Telangana supporters and for not meeting Telangana Congress MPs.
The pro-Telangana students groups called for a shut down in Telangana tomorrow in protest against the government's attitude towards the Telangana supporters. Consequently, some educational institutions are expected to remain closed.