Hyderabad, Oct 15: Several Congress and TRS leaders were taken into preventive custody for their attempt to disrupt rail services during the three-day ‘rail roko' agitation, which begins today in Telangana region in support of the statehood demand.
TRS's Medak MP Vijaya Shanti was detained near Lakadi-Ka-Pul station here, while Ponnam Prabhakar, Congress MP from Karimnagar, and former minister Jeevan Reddy were taken into preventive custody in Karimnagar district. Another Congress MP, S Rajaiah, was taken into custody after he and scores of supporters squatted on railway tracks and staged a demonstration at Kazipet railway station in Warangal district.
Siddipet MLA Harish Rao (TRS) was detained near Akkanpet railway station, while TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao's son and MLA K T Rama Rao and daughter K Kavitha (who heads TRS's cultural outfit Telangana Jagruti) were also taken into custody.
Police thwarted attempt by Rama Rao and his supporters to lay siege to the residence of state Home Minister Sabita Indra Reddy. Kavita was taken into custody for squatting on railway tracks at Moula Ali station here.
Scores of pro-Telangana protesters, who squatted on rail tracks, were detained in the region.
Shouting pro-Telangana slogans, the agitators squatted on railway tracks and staged demonstrations near railway stations in Nizamabad, Nalgonda, Mahabubnagar, Adilabad and Khammam districts.
Travellers had a tough time with South Central Railways cancelling 124 passenger trains and diverting and rescheduling others which pass through Telangana region.
Local trains between Hyderabad-Lingampalli and Secunderabad-Lingampalli, however, were plying normally, while five passenger trains left from Secunderabad and Kachiguda stations here with police escort.
“All those who have indulged in violations will be booked. Police will file cases against the law-breakers under bailable and non-bailable sections,” Police Commissioner A K Khan said.
State police have made elaborate security arrangement to thwart any untoward incident. Several companies of central paramilitary forces have been deployed in Hyderabad and across Telangana region.
Meanwhile, tension gripped Osmania University after police fired teargas shells on pro-Telangana students when they allegedly indulged in stone-pelting.
“Some protesting students threw stones at security forces after they were stopped from taking out a rally. Few teargas shells were fired to disperse the agitators,” a senior police officer said, adding that no one has been arrested.
In another incident, a policeman was injured after protesters threw stones at security personnel at Mahbubabad in Warangl district. Police resorted to a “mild lathicharge” to disperse the mob, an official said.
Meanwhile, government employees and teachers who have been on an indefinite strike for the past 33 days, have made it clear that they would not call off their agitation till the Centre announced the creation of Telangana state within a specific time frame.
The Telangana Employees Joint Action Committee leaders who took part in talks with the Cabinet sub-committee today made it clear that they would not give up until the Centre conceded their main demand of creation of Telangana.
“We want a clear announcement from the Centre on this. It should come out with a clear road map and a specify time frame for creation of the state,” JAC president K Swamy Goud told reporters at the end of the talks with the Cabinet sub-committee headed by Deputy Chief Minister Damodara Rajanarasimha.
“We have requested the state Cabinet to prevail upon the Centre and get an announcement on Telangana,” the JAC leader said.
“There is no truth in reports that we are going to withdraw from the indefinite strike. On the contrary, we will step up our agitation in every form,” Swamy Goud asserted.
State Labour Minister Danam Nagender said they once again appealed to the JAC to call off the strike since “our own people of Telangana” were suffering.
“People of Andhra-Rayalaseema regions are continuing with their daily life happily as there is no strike there. Only people of Telangana are suffering badly,” Danam pointed out.
The issues raised by JAC would be discussed with the Chief Minister for necessary action, the minister added. PTI