Defying his party's direction, Congress MP Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy went ahead with his ‘odarpu yatra' in Warangal district on Friday. But the programme had to be abandoned as clashes broke out between Telangana supporters and Congress workers at Mahbubabad, culminating in the police opening fire.
Mr. Reddy was taken into preventive custody aboard the Secunderabad-Guntur Inter City Express by which he was travelling to Mahbubabad and escorted back in a bulletproof vehicle to his residence at Banjara Hills here. He, however, vowed to undertake the ‘yatra' at a later date, even as the Congress high command decided to initiate disciplinary action by serving a show cause notice on him.
The ‘yatra' was meant to console the families of those who died after the death of his father Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy in a helicopter crash.
His detention followed pitched battles between supporters of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and Mr. Jagan's followers at the Mahbubabad railway station, located on the Hyderabad-Vijayawada route.
The violence left 24 persons injured, including a protester who is in a critical condition with bullet injuries, in the MGM Hospital at Warangal. Nine policemen and seven others were badly injured in stone-throwing.
Director-General of Police R.R. Girish Kumar said nine Telangana activists sustained bullet injuries when the official gunmen of Congress MLA Konda Surekha, her husband and MLC Konda Murali and local MLA M. Kavita opened several rounds of fire.
They were trapped inside the waiting room, as the activists rained the ballast available on the track.
The Telangana Joint Action Committee has called for a Telangana bandh on Saturday to protest against the police firing, while Mr. Reddy's supporters announced a bandh in his native Kadapa district.