Telangana protests: Siege at Congress ministers' homes

Telangana protests: Siege at Congress ministers' homes

Police arrested dozens of activists of the Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) for trying to barge into the houses of ruling Congress ministers and state legislators in Hyderabad and nine other districts of Telangana.

Raising slogans of "Jai Telangana", leaders and workers of the  Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and other constituents of the JAC laid siege to the houses of public representatives.

The protest was called by the JAC to condemn what it calls the silence of Congress leaders on the Telangana issue and also the power cuts imposed on farmers in the region due to the strike in Singareni Collieries.

Police had made elaborate security arrangements, especially in view of TRS chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao's threat to attack the houses of Congress leaders.

The protest sparked tension in some places as agitators resisted police attempts to arrest them.

In Hyderabad, police arrested pro-Telangana lawyers for trying to lay siege to the house of Labour Minister D. Nagender. The lawyers, some of whom were beating drums, raised slogans against the minister terming him a "traitor".

Protestors also laid siege to the house of Qutbullahpur legislator Srisailam Goud on the outskirts of Hyderabad.

The legislator, however, told protestors that he cannot resign as people hailing from Andhra and Rayalaseema regions and even others states settled in his constituency  elected him. "I am also a son of Telangana but I was elected by people, including those from other regions," he said.

Meanwhile, the "people's strike" in Telangana continued for the 17th day. The administration remained paralysed in the region as over 400,000 government employees stayed away from offices. Teachers, alwyers, and doctors also have joined the strike.

The coal production in Singareni mines spread over four districts in Telangana remains crippled. The state-owned Singareni Collieries has so far suffered a loss of more than Rs.500 crore due to the strike by the majority of its 70,000 workers.

Over 10,000 buses of state-owned Road Transport Corporation (RTC) remained off the road across the region for the 11th day as employees continued the strike, lending support to the separate Telangana state demand.

The state secretariat, the seat of governance, continued to be rocked by agitations for a separate Telangana state. The striking employees again held a demonstration.

However, their call for "secretariat shutdown" to protest the arrest of some employees Wednesday evoked little response as employees from Andhra and Rayalaseema regions attended their work amid tight security.

The personnel of Rapid Action Force (RAF) in addition to the policemen were deployed at the secretariat. Tight security arrangements were also made at Vanasthalipuram neighbourhood, where Telangana protestors have been trying to stop buses carrying employees to the secretariat.