Hyderabad tense over T protests

30,000 security personnel stand guard as city turns into war zone

Hyderabad tense over T protests

The “Chalo Assembly” demonstration by Telangana activists on Friday transformed Hyderabad into a war zone with over 30,000 security personnel including paramilitary forces standing guard to prevent agitators from disrupting the ongoing budget session.

“The Assembly has become an army camp,” said Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) legislator T Harish Rao, who led party MLAs demanding a resolution for a separate Telangana state. Hundreds of agitators, led by the TJAC, TRS, BJP and the CPI, hit the streets despite barbed wires, road blocks and traffic diversions in place to restrict their movement.

Two TRS MLAs even climbed atop a building in the Assembly complex and raised the Telagnana flag. The TRS and TDP legislators vied with each other to raise slogans and banners in the Assembly. Speaker Nadendla Manohar adjourned the House for the week after introduction of just two bills.

Manohar and Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy arrived at the Assembly at 6 am. They left in private vehicles to avoid being mobbed by the agitating MLAs.

As the TDP and TRS MLAs continued their agitation on the Assembly premises, authorities cut off power supply and cordoned off the area. The legislators were later forced out.

While TRS, TJAC and the BJP leaders were arrested while fighting the police, CPI MLAs and leaders were detained at their party offices. 

TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao condemned detention of the agitators. He called for a Telangana bandh on Saturday to demand their immediate release. TRS MLAs protested inside the Assembly against police atrocities on youth and waylaid the Speaker and the chief minister outside their chambers.

“Shame on the government which shut down the city and denied Telangana activists a chance to demonstrate,” said professor Kodandaram, chairman of the TJAC.

The BJP and the CPI are yet to decide on Saturday’s bandh.

Police commissioner Anurag Sharma said four DIGs, seven SPs, 40 DSPs, 100 inspectors, 400 sub-inspectors, besides 3,000 police personnel and two battalions (2,000 men) of paramilitary forces stood guard outside the Assembly complex. Fifteen check posts were set up around the Assembly and 58 in Hyderabad city.

Students, advocates, doctors, 60 civil society organisations and government employees from the Telangana region hit the streets, braving the police baton and tear gas shells. They raised slogans against the Congress government.

“We are denied the right to assemble and raise our voice in our own city,” said Nagam Janardhan Reddy of the BJP.

All routes leading to the Osmania University were closed. The police even raided the hostels and rooms of students near the university campus. The university has postponed all examinations scheduled for Saturday. Four other universities in the Telangana region also postponed their examinations.

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