Massive traffic and security restrictions were imposed by police ahead of the ‘Million March to Hyderabad’ called by pro-Telangana groups, seeking introduction of a bill on the separate statehood issue in the ongoing Parliament session.
Traffic restrictions came into force from morning hours and office-goers had to face problems reaching their destinations.
The million march, aimed at sending across a message to the Centre on formation of Telangana is supposed to be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Tankbund at the Hussainsagar lake in the heart of the city.
Police, which has denied permission to the march, saying this programme may affect normal life and might even lead to law and order problems, have already imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC in Hyderabad and Cyberabad Police Commissionerate limits banning any kind of assembly of persons, rallies and processions.
Heavy security arrangements were made in different parts of Hyderabad with deployment of hundreds of security personnel drawn from the state police and central paramilitary forces.
However, police, which has barricaded surrounding routes with barbed wires towards the Tank Bund area here ahead of the march came under severe criticism from public, particularly office-goers, who complained that though they started their journey hours before to reach their destinations, they were still being prevented at many roads. Police had yesterday asked office-goers to carry identity cards.
Traffic restrictions resulted in heavy traffic jams at several locations including near RTC Cross Roads, Kachiguda, Malakpet, Koti, parts of Old City, Basheerbagh among other areas.
As police did not allow traffic towards Lakadi-ka-Pul and the Assembly, motorists also indulged in heated arguments with police personnel and sought to know why the police had restricted vehicular movement right since morning when the ’Million March’ programme was scheduled for afternoon.
With Intermediate, ICSE and CBSE exams on, police had advised parents and students to plan their routes and start early to reach exam centres. “Under these tense circumstances, what and how will the students write exams,” asked a parent.
Meanwhile, police have started making preventive arrests in different Telangana districts preventing pro-Telangana activists from reaching Hyderabad.
A police officer monitoring buses and trains in Warangal district said, “There is no permission for the march. We are also keeping a watch on the movement of anti-social elements as they may mix up with the protesters to create law and order problem.”
Hyderabad Police Commissioner A.K. Khan said preventive arrests were being made only against those who were violating the ban orders.
Telangana Political JAC Convener M. Kodanda Ram alleged that the police infringed on the people’s freedom of the movement.
As part of the march, the JAC asked the people to take a pledge at 4 PM to work for the formation of a Telangana state.
Telangana leaders in all parties and various peoples organisations has announced support for the event.