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TRS MLA, others held while trying to attend a protest

TRS leaders were arrested here on Sunday for defying police ban to stage a protest demanding separate statehood to Telangana.

Hyderabad: Telangana Rashtra Samithi MLA KT Rama Rao and other leaders and activists of different pro-Telangana organisations were on Sunday taken in custody when they attempted to participate in the `Samara Deeksha` protest at Indira Park here.

Hyderabad Police has already denied the Telangana Joint Action Committee (T-JAC) permission to organise a 36-hour `Samara Deeksha` at Indira Park over the statehood demand.

Despite the denial of permission, Rama Rao, the MLA from Sircilla, and others tried to march towards the protest venue when they were prevented by police and taken into custody.

Telangana MLAs gathered in front of the Gandhi statue in Andhra Pradesh Assembly premises and were holding a dharna condemning the police for denying permission.

Tension also prevailed on the Osmania University campus when a group of pro-Telangana students pelted police with stones when they were prevented from taking out a rally in support of the protest towards Raj Bhavan.

Police have made elaborate security arrangements at various places in Hyderabad and other parts of Telangana region in Andhra Pradesh as a precautionary measure.

Police has barricaded the routes toward Indira Park and diverted traffic at different places including Assembly.

T-JAC chairman M Kodandaram had yesterday urged the people of the region to converge in large numbers at the protest venue.

The Telangana leaders were proposing to organise `Samara Deeksha` to take the separate statehood movement forward.

The Telangana activists were seeking to step up pressure on the Centre through `Samara Deeksha` to press for a decision in favour of Telangana state.

Police had denied permission to T-JAC to hold the protest as they contended possibility of anti-social elements sneaking into `Deeksha` camp and creating a law and order problem.

Police had said they had specific intelligence inputs that the protesters may resort to "violence" as was done earlier during the `Million March` and `Telangana March` on Necklace road here.