Telangana groups call for 24-hour shutdown
Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC) has called for 24-hour shutdown Saturday to protest what it call anti-Telangana attitude of Andhra Pradesh government.
TJAC chairman M. Kodandaram called for 24-hour shutdown starting from Friday midnight after police denied permission for the peace rally while allowing government employees from Seemandhra to hold a meeting in Hyderabad Saturday.
TJAC, which comprises various political and non-political groups fighting for separate statehood to Telangana, announced its decision Thursday evening, a few hours after Osmania University students Joint Action Committee and Madiga Reservation Porata Samithi (MRPS) gave separate calls for a shutdown.
Hyderabad police denied permission to all the three groups for their rallies and meetings but allowed Andhra Pradesh Non-Gazetted Officers (APNGOs) Association to go ahead with the meeting of Seemandhra employees the same day.
A showdown between pro and anti-Telangana groups is likely as Osmania University students have vowed to go ahead with their rally, defying ban orders. The students' group has threatened to disrupt the APNGOs meeting.
Telangana comprises 10 districts including Hyderabad. Seemandhra, as Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra, has been witnessing protests and shutdowns since July 30 when Congress decided to carve out a separate Telangana state.
Seemandhra employees and other people living in Hyderabad are opposing bifurcation saying this would hit them badly.
Kodandaram said the permission to APNGOs meet and the denial of same to TJAC exposed the anti-Telangana attitude of Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy.
"How can he allow the meeting when their agitation for united Andhra is aimed at suppressing the legitimate rights of Telangana people," asked Kodandaram.
Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leader K. Harsih Rao said the chief minister and state police chief would be responsible for any violence during APNGOs meet.
Meanwhile, APNGOs president P. Ashok Babu said they would hold the meeting despite the threats from various Telangana groups. He said 50,000 Seemandhra employees working in Hyderabad would attend the meet.
Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anurag Sharma defended the permission for APNGOs meet, saying they were the first to approach police. He told reporters that the permission was granted on 19 conditions. "If any condition is violated, we will take action," he said.
The police commissioner said only government employees carrying identity cards would be allowed to attend the meet.
Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh High Court adjourned to Friday hearing on a petition by some lawyers from Telangana, questioning the permission given to APNGOs.
(Posted on 05-09-2013)