‘Sadak bandh’ lasts only till noon; SI killed in mishap
The ‘Sadak bandh’ sponsored by Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) on the Hyderabad-Bangalore National Highway -7 lasted only till the afternoon on Thursday but left quite a few scars as the committee chairman, M. Kodandaram, and two TRS MLAs landed in jail and a sub-inspector patrolling the highway was killed.
Mr. Kodandaram apart, MLAs Eatala Rajender and Jupally Krishna Rao, former MP A.P. Jitender Reddy and Telangana gazetted officers association president V. Srinivas Goud were lodged in the district jail at Mahabubnagar as they were booked for instigating violence by the crowd during the agitation at Alampur. They were remanded in judicial custody by the junior first class magistrate at Alampur till April 4.
The programme also left a pall of gloom on the huge police force that was drafted for security as a Sub-Inspector from Warangal, P. Chinnappa, was killed and four home guards were injured when a DCM van hit them when they were patrolling the highway at Jadcherla in the early hours.
The Hyderabad range Deputy Inspector General Y. Nagi Reddy told The Hindu that the TRS and T-JAC leaders were charged with causing damage to two RTC buses and one lorry in stone pelting at the toll plaza in Alampur. There were six other similar criminal cases in connection with the bandh but no VIPs were involved. About 1,177 persons were arrested and released on preventive grounds, he added. Advocates owing allegiance to JAC filed a bail petition on behalf of Mr. Kodandaram and others as soon as they were remanded but the magistrate put it off for hearing on Friday. As news about their arrest spread, the employees JAC gave a call to the staff to observe ‘black day’ on Friday. The JAC convened an emergency meeting at night, while TRS president K. Chandrasekhar Rao gave a call for protest demonstrations in the region on Friday.
Barring the violence at Alampur, the ‘Sadak bandh’ was peaceful, although it affected movement of traffic till 1 p.m. Hundreds of activists of TRS, BJP, CPI, CPI-ML (New Democracy) and JAC converged at seven designated points along the highway to block traffic since morning. Cultural artistes of ‘dhoom dham’ even set up a tent at Palmakula.