While the Chalo Assembly march was firmly stopped in its tracks, the elaborate security arrangements put the common man through considerable trouble
The ‘Chalo Assembly’ rally was thwarted on Friday without incidence of violence - barring students clashing with police on the Osmania University campus - but the unprecedented restrictions imposed by the overzealous police sent the common man’s life into a tailspin.
Three students sustained critical injuries on the OU campus in a pitched battle between police and students that lasted for nearly four hours. Tension prevailed at other places as police arrested several political leaders, Telangana activists and public representatives while they were marching to the Assembly.
Protestors threw stones at police when they took into custody TJAC convenor Kodandaram and others as they walked towards Indira Park at Ashoknagar crossroads. Though Mr. Kodandaram staged a sit-in on the road protesting “police oppression”, he was shifted out within minutes, apprehending his demonstration would trigger trouble.
Protestors could not reach anywhere close to the Assembly as it was made an impenetrable fortress, with gun-toting policemen positioned all around and every link road taken over by police on Thursday night. The cancellation of MMTS services along two routes, diversion of RTC buses and closure of some trunk routes left commuters in the lurch.
“To reach Care Hospital near M.J. Market from Somajiguda, I was forced to travel through Masab Tank and Bazarghat. Policemen bluntly rejected my requests for permission to go to the hospital,” said Raghu who accompanied a patient.
Office-goers had to leave for their respective work places in the early hours, while those returning home found it difficult to proceed to their houses located on routes as they were barricaded by police.
By evening, nearly 15 students from the OU campus took police off guard and walked up to the Chief Minister’s camp-office-cum-residence and squatted on the road. Even as they were evacuated, a handful of Telangana Mala Mahanadu activists drove in a four-wheeler only to be bundled into a police van.
The agitation did not affect Old City, while Madhapur, Raidurg and Gachibowli, where reputed IT companies are located, also remained largely unaffected.