Struggle for Telangana intensifies

Joint Action Committee to observe bundh tomorrow

Struggle for Telangana intensifies

Police arrest demonstrating students demanding  Talengana state at Osmania University in Hyderabad on Monday. PTI

The prime minister was addressing a congregation of Congress leaders and activists on the occasion of the 125th Foundation Day of the party.

“Our party’s policies are aimed at uniting the society and the country and not dividing them. Our party is ready to accommodate every shade of opinion within the Constitution,” he said, without directly referring to Telangana.

However, after meeting the Congress top brass on Monday, the pro-Telangana ministers ruled out withdrawal of their resignation and insisted on a “categorical time-frame” for creating the new State.

“We want a categorical time-frame for the formation of the separate State (of Telangana),” Andhra Pradesh Higher Education Minister Sridhar Babu told journalists here.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had on Sunday asked the pro-Telangana ministers to withdraw their resignations.

Meanwhile, as part of intensifying the struggle for  Telangana, the all-party Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) has called for a bundh for Wednesday.

The JAC has called for protest rallies on Monday and Tuesday to be followed by a bundh on Wednesday.

The protests had taken a break of six days partly in deference to Christmas and Muharrum.  Even as protests continued on Monday, the police arrested six students, who have been on an indefinite fast at the Osmania University campus for the past five days, as their condition deteriorated. Tension prevailed as hundreds of students resisted their removal.

A large number of policemen, including personnel from the Central Reserve Police Force, were deployed on the campus. In an attempt to prevent the mobilisation of students, the university authorities have closed down hostels and messes till January 5.
Hours after the fasting students were removed, more students went on an indefinite hunger strike.

Meanwhile, the students announced that they would hold a massive convention called ‘Vidyarthi Garjana’ on January 3 in Hyderabad to press the Centre to announce the formation of Telangana. However, Hyderabad police Commissioner B Prasada Rao said the police would not give permission for such a programme.

The JAC, which has supported the ‘Garjana’, also threatened to lay siege to the city if the Centre failed to initiate the process for the formation of Telangana by January  2.

The month-long agitation has cost huge losses to the public exchequer as also to the private sector. According to official estimates, property worth Rs 250 crore has been destroyed in all the three regions of the state with 80 per cent of the losses being incurred in the Telangana region. 

A new target this time were mobile phone towers several of which were burnt down or brought down.  

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