Normal life across Telangana region was paralysed on Tuesday, following the 48-hour bandh call given by the Telangana Joint Action Committee to press the state government to table a resolution on Telangana state formation in the state Assembly. The TPJAC bandh call has been supported by the CPI, BJP and TDP, besides the TRS.
Barring minor incidents of stone-pelting by pro-Telangana activists, the first day of the bandh remained relatively peaceful. Transport services have been worst affected posing severe inconvenience to people in 10 districts of the region as thousands of buses have been confined to the depots.
In the Hyderabad, the RTC discontinued 1,500 bus services to different parts in the state putting passengers to a lot of inconvenience. Auto rickshaws were off the roads in a few areas. However, the few auto-rickshaws which were plying in some areas could be seen charging exorbitant fares from passengers. Besides educational institutions, shops and business establishments downed their shutters voluntarily sensing trouble. Most of the petrol stations, cinema halls and hotels were shutdown across the Telangana region expressing solidarity with the Telangana agitation. Attendance in government and private offices was reported to be thin.
In Hyderabad, the usually busy centres and major traffic junctions have a deserted look. Bus services in the city were partial while the MMTS services were also suspended. However, the essential services like water and milk supply were normal. Meanwhile, large number of police forces in riot gear were seen at all important places as police has been put on high alert throughout the region to prevent any untoward incidents.
In the morning hours, pro-Telangana activists, raising ‘Jai Telangana’ slogans took out rallies and staged dharnas disrupting traffic. Earlier, at least 120 pro-Telangana activists including members of the ABVP and Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) convenor Kodandaram were arrested at Tarnaka and shifted to Kanchanbagh police station when they took out rallies in support of the bandh.
Likewise, TRS leaders Harish Rao and Nayani Narasimha Reddy were arrested when they took out a motorcycle rally from Secunderabad Monda Market. They were arrested near Padmaraonagar. The police said that they were arrested since they did not have permission to take out the rally.
Demanding the release of arrested students and Prof Kodandaram, protesters staged a demonstration before the police station in the university premises and also raised slogans seeking withdrawal of police forces from the campus. Meanwhile, clashes between students and police continued at the Osmania University campus on Tuesday even the 48-hour bandh began.
Police used teargas shells as scores of pro-Telangana students pelted stones at the Osmania University police station. The police had to resort to lobbing teargas shells to disperse the agitating students.
The Osmania University students also took out a massive rally from Manjira Hostel in the university to Tarnaka crossroads. The bandh will continue on Wednesday.