A day-long shutdown began in Hyderabad and nine other districts of
Telangana region Saturday in response to a call by the Joint Action
Committee (JAC) of students to protest the terms of reference of the
Srikrishna panel on the issue of carving out a state of Telangana
from Andhra Pradesh.
Shops and business establishments remained closed while state-owned
Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation suspended bus
services in the region.
of Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
took to the streets at several places, staging demonstrations and
blocking vehicles. The protesters turned violent at some places in
Warangal and Medak districts, damaging buses and attacking the
offices of the Congress party, police said.
preventive measure, police arrested dozens of pro-Telangana leaders
since Friday night.
Anticipating violent protests by students, police and paramilitary
forces have been deployed at Osmania University campus here. The
campus has been the nerve centre of the agitation for a separate
students’ JAC, which has given call for the shutdown, is likely to
stage protests at the university later Saturday. The shutdown call
has been backed by by the JAC of all political parties.
legislators of TRS will submit their resignations to assembly
speaker later in the day. TRS chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao has
already announced that both MPs, 10 MLAs and the lone MLC would quit
to protest the terms of reference, which are “not favourable to
formation of Telangana state”.
all-party JAC will meet later Saturday to take a decision on mass
resignations. While several Telugu Desam Party (TDP) legislators
have expressed their willingness to quit, the opinion in the ruling
Congress party is divided. Congress legislators said they would take
a decision at the JAC meeting, which will also decide future course
of the agitation.
convenor M. Kodandaram has rejected the terms of reference saying
they were against the Dec 9 statement by the central government to
initiate the process for formation of Telangana state.
to the seven terms of reference announced by the central government
Friday, the five-member panel will consider both the demands for
separate Telangana state and for maintaining the present status of a
united Andhra Pradesh.
committee, which has been asked to submit its report by Dec 31, is
holding its first meeting in New Delhi Saturday.