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Clashes break out as thousands gather for Telangana

Last updated on: September 30, 2012 23:27 IST

Clashes break out as thousands gather for Telangana

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Vicky Nanjappa and Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad

The Telangana Joint Action Committee which was to complete their protest march at 7 pm on Sunday decided to stay put on Necklace Road in Hyderabad until there was a decision on separate statehood. 

The crowd numbering around 1.5 lakh decided not budge unless a positive decision on Telangana was announced by the central government. The protests later turned ugly as vehicles were burned in Hyderabad and police resorted to baton charges

Meanwhile, senior Congress leaders Vayalar Ravi and Ghulam Nabi Azad apprised Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde of the situation.

Shinde, who is talking to the two leaders in charge of Andhra Pradesh, in turn will brief the Congress high command following which a decision will be taken. The protestors, on the other hand, have been demanding that an announcement be made on Sunday night itself, but that appears to be unlikely.

The JAC, which is leading the protest, said that the police have lobbed tear gas shells at them, used water canons and even lathi charged them. "Let them throw bombs on us, but we won't budge from here," a JAC member said.

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Image: Thousands of Telangana activists gather at Necklace Road in Hyderabad for protest march on Sunday
Photographs: SnapsIndia

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Clashes break out as thousands gather for Telangana

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The police found it extremely difficult to control the crowd. They also ordered the blacking out of all regional channels in the Telangana region.

They feared that the movement will get stronger in the districts and people may try to barge into Hyderabad in larger numbers.

However, this did not bar the protestors from carrying out marches and processions in the districts.

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Image: Smoke is seen as activists gather near Necklace Road in Hyderabad for a protest march
Photographs: SnapsIndia
Tags: Telangana

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Clashes break out as thousands gather for Telangana

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Meanwhile, a statement issued by the JAC stated that they would not move from Hyderabad.

"We had carried out a peaceful protest, but the police used force. Had you let us carry this protest without any interference, we would have lived up to our promise and moved out of here," the statement read.

Earlier, violence erupted along the Neckalce Road in Hyderabad -- the site of Telangana march -- as the protestors went on rampage. They attacked the vehicles of the police and the media and set fire to at least three vehicles.

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Image: MPs from Telangana arrested in Hyderabad
Photographs: SnapsIndia

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Clashes break out as thousands gather for Telangana

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The vehicles set on fire include those of Sakshi TV, Doordarshan and a police van. The protestors were infuriated over the lathicharge of police against the people coming for participating in the Telangana march.

TJAC convenor Prof Kodanda Ram told the march participants that they should not move from the place till central government makes an announcement on Telangana state.

Chaos was prevailing on Hyderabad roads as the police and para-military forces closed down several routes to stop the pro-Telangana protestors from occupying the area around the Hussain Sagar lake for a massive march.

Barricades and barbed wire were laid on all the roads leading towards the area, where the Andhra Pradesh secretariat and other government offices are located.

The state government permitted the Telangana march called "Sagara Haaram" only at Necklace Road and the police allowed the protestors to enter the road from the Secunderabad side.

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Image: The Hyderabad police blocked roads and flyovers across the city to prevent activists from reaching the Necklace Road
Photographs: SnapsIndia

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Clashes break out as thousands gather for Telangana

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The closure of all other roads and refusal to various organisations to take out smaller processions towards the venue of the march created a lot of anger among the people leading to clashes.

The protestors clashed with the police near Telugu Talli statue before Tank Bund and also in front of the Prasad I-Max theater as they were stopped by the police from moving forward. The police used tear gas shells after the protestors pelted stones.

Lakhs of people, coming from all over Telangana region, were pouring on to the Necklace Road. They were carrying banners and flags and shouting slogans in support of a separate state.

The Telangana Joint Action Committee, the main organiser of the program, alleged that after granting permission to the march, the government and the police were now trying to sabotage it by triggering violence.

They said that more than 15 trains have bee cancelled and hundreds of buses and other vehicles were stopped to prevent the people from reaching Hyderabad.

"The police is continuously arresting the people", said Prof Kodanda Ram, the convenor of TJAC.

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Image: Telangana activists set on fire vehicles in Hyderabad on Sunday
Photographs: SnapsIndia

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Clashes break out as thousands gather for Telangana

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The Telangana Rashtra Samiti, Bharatiya Janata Party, Communist Party of India and CPI-Marxist Leninist New Democracy have taken out processions with thousands of people from different places to reach the venue of the march.

Apart form the political parties, organisations of government employees, lawyers, doctors, women and minorities were also participating in the march program.

However, the Osmania University students were stopped by the police and the security forces from taking out a procession from the campus leading to a violent clash between them.

The police lobbed tear gas shells and made lathi charge to disperse the violent groups of students who were pelting stones.

Meanwhile, the police detained the Congress members of Parliament from Telangana after they tried to sit on a dharna outside the residence of Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy in protest against the arrests of the people in Telangana.

After they were released, they again went back and started protesting there.

Meanwhile, banners and posters have come at the venue of the march threatening that the protest will not end till the central government makes an announcement on the Telangana state.


Image: Students of Osmania University clashed with security personnel earlier on Sunday
Photographs: SnapsIndia

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