Celebrations broke out at several parts of the Andhra Pradesh capital, Hyderabad, notably on the Osmania University campus on Thursday, after the Centre announced its willingness to initiate the process for carving out a separate Telangana State.

Hundreds of students were gathering in front of the Univesity College of Arts and Social Sciences on Osmania University campus, the nodal centre from where the students’ community was planning out the pro-statehood agitation. A large contingent of police, which was briefed to anticipate trouble in view of the proposed rally by the students, before the Centre’s decision was announced on Wednesday night, maintained a respectful distance from the overjoyed students dancing to the beats of drums.

The State capital has virtually been taken over by the police, who imposed heavy restrictions on movement of traffic around the State Assembly which is in session now. Though the proposed rally to the assembly was cancelled in view of last night’s development, the police unknown reasons did not lift the traffic restrictions leading to massive traffic jams.

Undeclared curfew-like situation

An undeclared curfew like situation prevailed around the Assembly building with all the roads around it blocked.

With authorities anticipating trouble on Thursday police were deployed in large numbers in the city. However, though the situation changed following the Centre’s announcement, the police did not lift restrictions. Relieved citizens have come out on roads only to find almost all roads choked because of the barricades by the police. “It’s totally irrational. Why can’t the police remove the barricades, now that the situation is under control”, fumed a motorist caught in a massive traffic jam near Tank Bund.

When his attention was drawn to the unnecessary traffic restrictions, Commissioner of Police, B. Prasada Rao maintained that people were sufficiently warned not to come out. “It would require time to remove the barricades and till such time the restrictions would continue”, was his answer to a pointed query on the necessity of continuing with the traffic restrictions.

An ambulance carrying a patient was caught up at Tank Bund and the policemen manning the heavy junction remained mute spectators to the plight of the patient in the ambulance. When this was brought to the notice of the Commissioner of Police, he maintained that the ambulance drive should have taken care to avoid that route.