Telugu news television channels went off the air for over ten minutes on Sunday evening triggering suspicions that the police contingents were moving in to disperse the protestors participating in Telangana March on Necklace road.
The TV channels, which were providing a deferred live coverage of the meeting being addressed, went off the air only in Hyderabad. The coverage of the event was, however, not hampered in other districts. No official was available to comment on the black out. The DTH services were, however, not affected.
When the transmission resumed ten minutes later, police had already moved in water cannons near the meeting site. The crowds were indulging in a see-saw battle with the policemen who were advancing towards the meeting site.
Tension had been escalating in the State capital after the protestors repeatedly clashed with the police at several places leading to lathicharges and lobbing of tear gas shells. Two police vehicles, three OB vans of private news channels and the Necklace road railway station were set on fire by the protestors.
There was huge turnout for the Telangana March, christened ‘Sagara Haaram’ called by the Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC) to press for bifurcation of the State.
The government permitted the programme from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and the police stipulated that the participants must only come from Secunderabad side. However, scores of people tried to reach the meeting place from Khairatabad and Secretariat side and clashed with the police which set up huge barricades.