The ongoing agitation for Statehood to Andhra Pradesh’s Telangana region intensified on Tuesday as thousands of people from all walks of life came on to the streets in various districts to press for their demand.
Protests, road blockades, rallies, processions, meetings, human chains and cultural programmes were organised across the region by all political parties and other pro-Telangana groups.
Tension continued at Osmania University, the nerve centre of the agitation, as students took out a procession to the police station demanding release of their leaders. Police had a tough time controlling the angry students.
The protest was held even as police stepped up efforts to foil the plans of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the students for a ‘Chalo Hyderabad’ march and rally on January 3. Police have denied permission for the protests and imposed prohibitory orders in and around the city.
However, the government on Tuesday received a jolt with the State High Court quashing its order for closure of all university hostels and messes in Telangana. The court directed that the hostels and messes be reopened with necessary measures to prevent the entry of outsiders.
Police went on alert in Hyderabad and other parts of the region a day ahead of the shutdown called by the all-party JAC. Additional forces, including paramilitary personnel, were deployed in the city and other towns.
The tussle between students on hunger strike and the police continued on the campuses of all universities in the region, especially the Kakatiya University in Warangal.
Some student unions have threatened to disrupt New Year celebrations at Ramoji Film City on the outskirts of Hyderabad. A group of students staged a protest outside the film city owned by media baron Ramoji Rao.
Hyderabad Police Commissioner B. Parasada Rao has warned of strict action against those planning to disrupt New Year celebrations in the city.
Demanding withdrawal of cases booked against those participating in the agitation, lawyers staged a sit-in outside the Nampally criminal court complex.
In Warangal, students, lawyers and government employees came together to stage massive protests. Lawyers boycotted courts.
In Karimnagar town, hundreds of people marched through the streets demanding the immediate formation of Telangana. Leaders of all parties vowed not to rest till the central government announced the formation of the State.
Protesters in various towns also used folk songs and cultural performances to highlight their demand.
In Mahabubnagar district, government employees resorted to a ‘pen down’ protest in support of the Telangana movement.
The ‘fast unto death’ and relay hunger strikes by students, lawyers and legislators cutting across party lines also continued.