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Security tightened in Hyderabad ahead of Telangana march

March 08, 2011 23:27 IST

Additional police and paramilitary forces have started taking positions in Hyderabad, especially around the picturesque Hussain Sagar lake and Tank Bund to scuttle the plans of Telangana organisations to bring lakhs of people from the districts as pat of their 'Million March' on Thursday.

Startled by the statements of the leaders of Telangana agitation that they will recreate famous 'Tahrir Square' of Cario in Hyderabad to force the government to concede their demand for a separate Telangana state, the Andhra Pradesh government has decided not to allow large number of people congregate in the heart of the city.

Telangana Joint Action Committee, a representative forum of many organisations campaigning for the Telangana state, has given a call to the people of Telangana to converge on the city on Thursday.

However, in view of the on going junior college examinations, the organisers have changed the time of the march from 10 am to 1 pm and said that it will continue only for three hours.

Though TJAC convenor Prof Kodanda Ram and many others have stressed that the program will be peaceful, the authorities were not willing to take chances.

Hyderabad city police commissioner Abdul Khayyum Khan on Tuesday said that application of organisers for permission was rejected as there was a fear of breach of peace.

He said that the organisers had sought permission for processions from three places to Tank Bund and a Dharna there for three hours.

"This will cause a massive disruption of normal life", he said. Khan stressed that it was the duty of the police to ensure law and order and peace.

He warned that if despite refusal of permission if any body tries to organise the programme, action will be taken against them.

Director General of Police K Aravinda Rao has also emphasised that no permission was granted for the 'Million March' programme.

Amid the apprehensions that if lakhs of people were allowed to gather at Tank Bund, merely couple of kilometres away from the state assembly, it will create a serious threat to the security of the legislature, deputy speaker N Manohar had a review of security arrangements with the top police officials.

'Million March' was being organised at a time when the budget session is in progress and it was badly marred by the protest on the issue of Telangana.

Telangana legislators of all the parties were boycotting the session. As Congress, Telangana Rashtra Samithi, Bharatiya Janata Party and Communist Party of India legislators from the region were already staying away from the session, Telugu Desam Party legislators from the region also joined the boycott from Tuesday.

N Janardhan Reddy, who had disrupted the proceedings of the assembly on Monday, on Tuesday announced the TDP legislators will boycott the session till the 'Million March' was over.

Despite the police refusal, TJAC and other organisations have decided to go ahead with their programme. A group of leaders met Home Minister P Sabita Indra Reddy to urge her to grant permission for the programme. But they could not get any assurance from her.

"Whether somebody grants permission or not is immaterial to us. We have the permission from the people of Telangana and with that we will organise this programme", Prof Ram said.

Stressing that the programme will be peaceful, he said that entire Telangana Samaj was carrying its agitation in a very peaceful manner.

He urged the people not to get provoked by the police. "If police stops you at any place, sit there on the road and start protest", he said.

Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad