Thousands of people from all walks of life violated ban orders and
broke police barricades to participate in the 'million march' at
Tank Bund here Thursday to intensify the movement for a separate
Normal life came to a standstill in the city as it was virtually
under police siege. Over 12,000 personnel from police and central
paramilitary forces were deployed to foil the march. However, as
the events later showed, the protestors succeeded in holding the
march, the first such show of strength in the city for a separate
Though the agitators promised that the march would be peaceful,
the protests were marred by violence later in the day.
Thousands of people remained in the Tank Bund area even at 6.30
p.m. though the Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC) had
announced that the protest action would conclude at 4 p.m.
As darkness set in and the protestors went on rampage, police used
teargas shells to disperse them and take back control of Tank
Bund, a three-km-long road along Hussain Sagar Lake connecting the
twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad.
The area was rocked by violence as the protestors attacked
mediapersons, damaged cameras and vans, vandalized statues of
Telugu literary and historical figures and set afire police
As many as six statues were damaged and their broken parts were
thrown into the lake. More than 25 video and still cameras of
mediapersons were destroyed when they were capturing the
destruction of the statues.
Hyderabad police commissioner A.K. Khan said he was confident that
the situation would be brought under control soon.
The city was rocked first by the large scale traffic curbs imposed
by police and later by the protests and the violence.
TJAC, which comprises parties fighting for a separate state,
succeeded despite the police carrying out large scale arrests in
the entire region. About 50 trains were cancelled to prevent
people from other Telangana districts reaching Hyderabad.
Police erected 350 check posts on the outskirts of Hyderabad to
prevent Telangana activists from entering the city. Vehicles were
allowed only after thorough checking.
It was utter chaos on the roads of Hyderabad and Secunderabad as
the curbs imposed by police caused severe inconvenience to
students going to exam centres and the people going to offices and
Curfew-like situation prevailed around Tank Bund, secretariat, Raj
Bhavan and the assembly.
Tension prevailed at Osmania University as students clashed with
police after they were prevented from taking out a rally to Tank
Bund. Police fired teargas shells to control the students.
The police arrested dozens of protestors in various parts of the
city but around 1 p.m. the activists started reaching Tank Bund in
groups from different directions. Soon the crowd swelled to
hundreds and then to thousands as they outnumbered the police.
Police arrested TJAC convenor M. Kodandaram, legislators and
leaders of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), Bharatiya Janata Party
(BJP) and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) as they started for Tank Bund
from various points in the city.
Two Congress MPs K. Keshava Rao and Madhu Goud Yaskhi, who managed
to reach Tank Bund, came under attack. Asking them to resign, the
protestors threw footwear, water bottles and other missiles at
them. Keshava Rao's vehicle was also damaged by the crowd. The two
leaders, however, escaped unhurt.
Kodandaram, who visited Tank Bund in the evening after he was
released by police, claimed that the march was a huge success.
TRS chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao also joined the protest and took
oath with all the activists to continue their fight for a separate