A total and largely peaceful bandh was observed in the Telangana region in response to a call given by the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of political parties to exert pressure on the Centre to expedite the process of forming a separate State.
The one-day shutdown was complete as educational institutions, business houses, factories, shops and establishments in Hyderabad and nine other Telangana districts remained closed. Streets wore a deserted look as the A.P. State Road Transport Corporation withdrew buses from the region while the South Central Railways too cancelled long distance trains.
There were stray incidents and attacks on government offices. JAC activists attacked industrial units at a few places in Nalgonda district, including the India Cements factory and the AG Glass factory. Ten trucks parked in the glass-making unit were damaged while an engineering college was attacked and the Terri Gold factory, both in the same district, set on fire.
The bandh turned violent in Karimnagar town where agitators ransacked the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) office, damaged an ATM centre of the SBI and attacked other offices, besides targeting three private schools at Godavarikhani. In Medak district, activists staged protests in front of the MRF factory near Sadasivpet and the Ordnance factory at Yeddu Mailaram.
Thoroughfares as well as highways were blocked in almost every district. Activists cooked food on the road while women performed traditional dances. Some long distance trains were detained for several hours. The shutdown evoked a mixed response in the Singareni Collieries Company Limited which spans four districts.
900 people held
Additional Director-General of Police, Law and Order, A.K. Khan, told reporters that over 900 people were arrested for enforcing the bandh or squatting on roads and the rail track. He said additional forces had been brought from neighbouring States as a precautionary measure and for maintaining peace during New Year celebrations. He said students would be given permission to take out a rally from Osmania University in Hyderabad on January 3 only if the police felt that it would not disturb law and order.