Staff Reporter

While tension grips Telangana region in the morning hours, normality returns by evening

NALGONDA: Barring sporadic incidents of stone pelting on APSRTC buses, the bandh called by the Telangana JAC in protest against the Mahabubabad firing incident went off peacefully in the district on Saturday.

Rasta Rokos and protest demonstrations were organised by the pro-Telangana activists at Nalgonda, Chityal, Kodad, Bhongir, Vangapalli, Devarakonda and other places during the bandh.

According to sources, unidentified persons hurled stones and damaged the windowpanes of two RTC buses in Bhongir and one in Yadagirigutta.

The police detained several protesters including the Telangana JAC district convener G. Venkateshwarlu in Nalgonda when they blocked the movement of the buses in front of the APSRTC bus depot in the town in the morning.

The BJP district president V. Chandrasekhar, the Kisan Morcha leader G. Madhusudhan Reddy, TRS leader Shravanya Reddy and others participated in the stir. The police let off the protesters later on.

Most of the APSRTC bus services, which were affected in the morning resumed in the afternoon and plied near normal.

When contacted, the APSRTC Nalgonda Regional Manager Nagaraju told The Hindu that as many as 180 services of the total 740 services were cancelled in the region due to the bandh. The region suffered a loss of about Rs. 20 lakh on account of the bandh on Friday, he said.

Bandh peaceful

Sangareddy Staff Reporter writes: A complete bandh was observed on Saturday in Medak district against the incident that took place at Mahabubabad in Warangal district on Friday.

Shops and establishments remained closed at Sangareddy, Siddipet, Medak and other important towns.

The buses also confined to depots till afternoon though some services ran in areas where there was no problem. At Siddipet, former MLA T. Harish Rao and municipal chairman K. Rajanarsu and others were arrested for enforcing the bundh. At Medak also, the JAC leaders moved on the road and closed the shops. However, from afternoon onwards the situation became normal and shops were opened.

Though protests and counter protests were organised at several places in the district on Friday itself Surprisingly the TRS cadre at Siddipet remained silent on Friday evening. The local reporters were also clueless on what happened and why there was a sudden change.

Stones pelted on buses

Nizamabad Staff Reporter writes: Barring sporadic incidents of violence the bandh observed in response to call given by the Telangana JAC protesting against the police firing in Mahaboobabad in Warangal district on Friday, was total and peaceful in the district on Saturday.

The protesters damaged an RTC bus at Morthad mandal headquarter, pelted stones on Andhra Bank in Bodhan town and on two private vehicles at Banswada. Stones also hurled on an RTC bus in Banswada, but no damage occurred to it.

The irate Telangana protagonists have torn the flexi-posters of Congress leaders at the RTC bus depot. In all, 50 pro-Telangana activists including the former MLA Y. Lakshminarayana (BJP) were taken into custody when they were forcing bandh in the district headquarter town. The JAC leaders stopped Bodhan-Secunderabad passenger train for ten minutes at Bodhan and dharnas and rastarokos were staged at several places in the district, according to Superintendent of Police K. Venkateswar Rao.

Mr. Rao told The Hindu that sufficient forces were deployed and police pickets were posted at important junctions across the district. Petrolling was intensified since last night. Denying the reports of attack on a petrol bunk at Pitlam, he said the police kept ready to prevent any kind of untoward incident in connection with the bandh.

Meanwhile, the RTC suspended its bus services to all the areas from the district till afternoon. As a result, its fleet of 680 buses in the region remained in the bus depots. A number of passengers who were stranded at bus stations underwent too much hardship while not finding any alternative transport facilities.

School buses torched

Warangal Staff Reporter writes: The bandh call given by the Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) was total with shops and establishments remaining closed throughout the day. The unknown miscreants torched three buses belonging to a private school were torched in the wee hours.

Soon after the dawn, the activists belonging to TRS, KU JAC, BJP and Employees' associations came onto the road and patrolled the streets enforcing closure. Schools and banks and other business establishments were closed down following the bandh call.

JAC leader T. Papi Reddy, TRS district convenor P. Sudarshan Reddy, BJP former MLA M. Dharma Rao and other staged a demonstration at the Hanamkonda bus stand preventing movement of buses.

As a result, people living in far off places like agency mandals of Eturunagaram, Mangapet, Mulu and other areas suffered untold misery due to non-availability of vegetables, milk and other essential commodities.

Scores of students of Kakatiya University staged a rasta-roko at Hanamkonda chowrastha obstructing vehicular movement in the town. The TDP workers too took out a two-wheeler rally in support of the bandh. Hundreds of activists were taken into custody across the district when they tried to stage rasta-roko and demonstrations.

The APSTRC buses went off the road. About 900 buses in eight depots did not move as the activists were on prowl.

The Kazipet Vijawada passenger train was cancelled.