Pro-Telangana leaders arrested in Hyderabad

The Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC) kick-started its 36-hour ‘Samara Deeksha’ in protest against Centre’s delay in announcing Statehood, at Indira Park on Sunday afternoon. It was launched after the government granted permission following protests and pressure from various quarters including Telangana Congress leaders and intellectuals.

Tension prevailed in parts of the city before the protest began as Telangana activists including employees, students, TRS leaders and others tried to defy restrictions imposed by the police against any assembly of groups at Indira Park, Gun Park, Assembly, New MLAs’ Quarters, Raj Bhavan and Osmania University Campus.

Sit-in protests were held against denial of permission earlier in the day by TJAC leaders at their office in New MLAs’ Quarters, Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) legislators at Mahatma Gandhi statue on the Assembly premises and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders in their City office at Barkatpura. Those who tried to reach Indira Park, Gun Park and TJAC office were arrested by the police in spells.

Stone throwing by OU students and firing of tear gas shells by the police in retaliation took place on the university camps as the students tried to take out a motorcycle rally to Raj Bhavan.

The police did not allow the students to come out of the campus by sealing the gates . However, some students who managed to reach Raj Bhavan and Khairatabad traffic junction were arrested.

Drama preceded the TRS legislators protest on the Assembly premises as they were not allowed entry to Mahatma Gandhi statue. They scaled fencing to hold the protest.

They termed the police oppression as undemocratic and said it was reminding emergency. “We will overcome this harassment and try to pull down the government in coming days to achieve Telangana”, TRSLP leader E. Rajender said.

Earlier in the day, Home Minister P. Sabitha Indra Reddy gave her nod to TJAC protest after a delegation comprising educationist Chukka Ramaiah, balladeer Gadar, writer Mallepalli Laxmaiah and others called on her first and later City Commissioner of Police Anurag Sharma. The protest is permitted till 6 pm on Monday with some restrictions.

In his inaugural speech TJAC chairman M. Kodandaram said their movement would now focus only on the ruling party leaders.

They would discuss strategy and announce the action plan of the movement before concluding the protest on Monday, he stated.

The protestors including activists of TRS, BJP, CPI (ML-ND) and TJAC members will sit through the night at the protest site.