Shutdown paralyses normal life in Telangana
Normal life came to a standstill in Telangana Thursday as a day-long shutdown to protest the centre's reported proposal to carve out a Rayala-Telangana state evoked near total response.
Transport service came to a halt while shops, business establishments and educational institutions remained closed.
Barring a few incidents, the shutdown was peaceful till afternoon, a police official said.
The shutdown evoked partial response in Hyderabad but was near total in the remaining nine districts of the region. Over 3,000 buses of state-owned Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) in Hyderabad went off the roads, causing severe inconvenience to commuters.
Schools and colleges, petrol bunks and business establishments were also closed in most parts of Hyderabad. Protesters forced shops in some areas to shut down.
The strike, however, had little impact on the information technology companies located in IT clusters Cyberabad and Gacchibowli.
With majority of the APSRTC employees joining the strike, buses did not come out of depots across the region. The corporation also suspended services from Hyderabad to other parts of Telangana and also Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra). The usually busy Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station (MGBS) here wore a deserted look.
Tension prevailed at Osmania University here as the students tried to take out a rally to oppose the formation of Rayala-Telangana state, but were stopped by police at the main gate. As prohibitory orders banning assembly of five or more persons were in force in the city, police did not allow the rally.
Raising slogans of 'Jai Telangana' the students pelted stones on policemen, who retaliated with firing of teargas shells.
Gandhi Bhavan, the headquarters of ruling Congress party, also witnessed a tense situation as pro-Telangana lawyers barged into the building. Police had a tough time in controlling the protesters.
Shops and business establishments voluntarily shut down in most parts of Medak, Karimnagar, Nizamabad, Adilabad, Nalgonda, Mahabubnagar, Warangal and other districts.
Activists of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Communist Party of India (CPI) and striking APSRTC employees staged sit-in outside the bus depots since early morning, not allowing the vehicles to come out.
Coal production in state-owned Singareni Collieries company was hit as employees belonging to TRS-affiliated trade unions struck work. Production was affected in the coal mines spread across Khammam, Warangal, Karimnagar and Adilabad districts.
In Adilabad district alone, 20,000 coal workers in 18 mines were participating in the strike, affecting production of 40,000 tonnes of coal.
Police stepped up security in Hyderabad and other parts of Telangana to prevent any untoward incident. Forces were deployed in the core area of Hyderabad and outskirts to maintain law and order.
A police official said there were no reports of any violence in the region.
TRS has called for the shutdown, demanding the centre to drop the reported proposal to merge two of the four districts of Rayalaseema with Telangana to carve out Rayala-Telangana. TJAC, BJP, CPI and other groups are supporting the call. They want the centre to carve out Telangana state comprising 10 districts as resolved by the Congress Working Committee and the union cabinet.
Group of Ministers (GoM), which went into issues relating to bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, has reportedly recommended formation of Rayala-Telangana. The GoM headed by Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde Wednesday night finalized its report.
Shinde said the GoM recommendations would come up for discussion during the union cabinet meeting scheduled to be held Thursday evening.
(Posted on 05-12-2013)