Six Congress MPs from Telangana on Sunday staged a sit in before the Chief Minister’s camp office protesting the ‘repressive methods’ of police to prevent people from converging at Necklace to participate in the Telangana March.
Besieged with complaints from party cadres about police high-handedness, Congress MPs – Manda Jagannath, G. Vivekananda, Madhu Yaskhi, Gutha Sukhender Reddy. K. Rajagopal Reddy and S. Rajaiah besides former MP K. Keshava Rao drove to the Camp office and sat on a dharna for 15 minutes.
Although taken by surprise, police swung into action and whisked away the Congress leaders. The MPs picked up a row with the police alleging that the Government had gone back on its word that it would allow the march unhindered. After they were released, they again staged a 'dharna' and this time they were taken away to Shamshabad police station, 25 km away.
Congress MP from Nizamabad Madhu Yaskhi told The Hindu that “first the Government gave permission and later chose to prevent people from participating in the march. We have been flooded with calls since morning".
Expressing concern at the arrest of a number of Telangana activists, Deputy Chief Minister, C. Damodar Rajanarasimha and Panchayat Raj Minister, K. Jana Reddy said they would not hesitate to sacrifice their posts. They would take up the issue with the Chief Minister, N. Kiran Kumar Reddy.
A tense situation prevailed in several parts of the city as groups of people marched to the Necklace Road, venue of the central rally.
Around noon, police fired a teargas shell to disperse mob that tried to pull away a barricade near the Necklace Road.
Osmania University campus witnessed pitched battles between the police and the students, as the latter tried to take out a rally to the Necklace Road. As the students marched towards the NCC Gate, which was heavily barricaded, police lobbed teargas shells.
Reports from other places in the Telangana region indicated that police were pulling out all the stops to prevent people from moving enmasse towards Hyderabad.
TRS leaders decried the police action while the TJAC chairman M. Kodandaram claimed a ‘moral victory’ for them which kept saying all along that it would be a peaceful march to press their demand for separate State.
A complete security blanket was thrown around the Hussainsagar Lake with police permitting the activists only via the Minister Road.
‘Sagarahaaram’ venue 100 metres beyond former Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao’s memorial on Necklace Road was abuzz with a steady flow of people thronging it.