State says no permission; TRS, TJAC vow to go ahead with the programme

The Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) and Telangana Joint Action Committee are determined to go ahead with their call for ‘sadak bandh’ on Hyderabad–Kurnool National Highway on Thursday despite stern warning by the police that people obstructing traffic will be punished.

The AP State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) announced ferrying services on the road through an alternative route passing from Chevella, Mahabubnagar, Devarakadra, Gadwal, Aizaw and Sunkesula bridge.

The TRS and JAC have identified seven points of major convergence by their supporters along the highway to block traffic. They are Shamshabad in Ranga Reddy district and Shadnagar, Jadcherla, Bhootpur, Addakula, Kothakota and Alampur in Mahabubnagar. The JAC chairman M. Kodandaram told reporters at Pebbair in Mahabubnagar that the bandh would be observed even if a lakh police personnel were deployed.

All the 17 MLAs of TRS were asked to be present at their appointed points to lead the T-supporters. The gathering at Shamshabad is likely to be the largest one as it is the intersection for Ranga Reddy and Mahabubnagar districts. The BJP and CPI will also support the agitation.

Cyberabad Police Commissioner Dwaraka Tirumala Rao said there was no permission for the programme and that check-posts will be set up all along the highway to prevent mobilisation of crowds. The security at the airport near Shamshabad will be tightened.

Answering a question from media persons, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar asked whether the government was within its rights to grant permission to such a programme. He recalled that it was barred by various court judgments. The police will consider granting permission if it was sought for demonstration at any particular location, he added.

Meanwhile, the TRS organised motorcycle rallies from Jahangir Pir Dargah to Shadnagar under the leadership of its MLA K.T. Rama Rao for the success of the bandh. The women’s wing of the party also took out a rally from Chaitanyapuri to L.B. Nagar in the city. A bike rally proposed by the students of Osmania University was thwarted by the police at NCC gate on the campus. Tension prevailed there briefly as the students threw stones at the police force. The police reportedly picked up a number of leaders and activists, including the Mahabubnagar district president of TRS Vittal Rao Arya and the local JAC chairman Rajender Reddy, as a preventive measure.