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'Million March' leaves Hyderabad paralysed

Last updated on: March 10, 2011 13:24 IST

Hyderabad under siege over 'Million March'

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Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad

Normal life was thrown out of gear in Hyderabad on Thursday in view of massive traffic and security restrictions imposed by police ahead of the 'Million March to Hyderabad' called by pro-Telangana groups seeking introduction of a Bill on separate state in the ongoing Parliament session.

Traffic restrictions came into force from morning hours and office-goers had a tough time reaching their destinations. The million march aimed at sending across a message to the Centre on formation of Telangana is supposed to be held from 1 pm to 4pm at Tankbund at the Hussainsagar lake in the heart of the city.

Police which has denied permission to the march citing that this programme may affect normal life and might even lead to law and order problems, have already imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC in Hyderabad and Cyberabad Police Commissionerate limits banning any kind of assembly of persons, rallies and processions.

Most of the pro-Telangana leadership has been placed under preventive arrest. About 120 check posts have been set up all around and in the city to stop the vehicles carrying the Telangana activists.

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Image: File picture of Telangana protestors in Hyderabad
Photographs: SnapsIndia
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'Start your protests wherever you are stopped'

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Police are continuing a similar crack down in the other nine districts especially in Karimnagar, Warangal, Medak and Nalgonda. Barricades and barbed wire fencing has been erected at many places to stop the protestors in the districts.

Telangana Joint Action Committee, a representative platform of several political parties and other organisations, has called for the congregations of lakhs of people from the region on Tank Bund of Hyderabad on Thursday to press the demand for a separate state.

TJAC convenor Prof Kodanda Ram alleged that nearly one lakh people were rounded by the police all over Telangana, including ten thousand in Hyderabad alone since Tuesday night to stop them from reaching Tank Bund.

"They were violating human rights and civil rights of the people. This is worse than dictatorship", he told a press conference in Hyderabad. Kodanda Ram and several other leaders of Telangana movement appealed to the people to remain peaceful and take part in the Million March.

"If police stop you, don't get provoked or violent. Start your protest wherever you are stopped", he said.


Image: TJAC convenor Prof Kodanda Ram addresses mediapersons ahead of the Million March in Hyderabad on Wednesday
Photographs: SnapsIndia
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'People will create Egypt like situation in the state'

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He was confident that people will manage to reach Hyderabad the venue of the protest.

"We are not going to have any speeches there. People will just sit there for three hours, listen to the songs by Telangana artists and take a oath at 4 pm to fight for Telangana", he said.

"The people who could not reach Hyderabad and Tank Bund can sit on protest at their own places and take oath at 4 pm", he said.

Reiterating that if Telangana state was not granted by the central government, the people will create Egypt like situation in the state.

However, not many are happy. With Intermediate, ICSE and CBSE exams on, police had advised parents and students to plan their routes and start early to reach exam centres. "Under these tense circumstances, what and how the students will write exams," asked a parent.



Image: TJAC members inspect the location of the Million March in Hyderabad on Wednesday
Photographs: SnapsIndia
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'Telangana people have become more determined in their struggle'

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Kodanda Ram said, "The situation here is worse than Egypt. There people could at least take out rallies and procession. Here we are not allowed to do even that. Because of this attitude of the police and Andhra government that the people of Telangana have become more determined in their struggle now", he said.

Apart from Telangana Rashtra Samiti, which is in the forefront of Telangana movement, the Bharatiya Janata Party, Communist Party of India and CPI-ML New Democracy were also supporting the Million March programme.

Telangana legislators of ruling Congress party and the main opposition Telugu Desam have also decided to take part in the Million March programme.


Image: A public rally by a pro-Telangana organisation
Photographs: SnapsIndia
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'Centre, state govt will be responsible for consequences'

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Congress MPs from Telangana region were also planning to take part in the programme and have strongly condemned the indiscriminate arrests of the people.

Popular balladeer and the leader of Telangana Praja Front Gaddar has also appealed to the people to participate in protest programme.

"If vindictive action is taken against the people, responsibility of consequences will lie with the central and the state governments, the state governor and the director general of police", he said.

The popular singer was also going around the villages to mobilise the people to participate in the programme.


Image: Telangana Congress law makers protest in front of the AP assembly on Wednesday
Photographs: SnapsIndia
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'We will act against anyone who violates law'

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Meanwhile, Hyderabad Police Commissioner A K Khan defended the restrictions in the city saying the police were duty bound to uphold the law and ensure peace.

"Processions and gatherings are not permitted in the city. If any body violates the law, we will take necessary action", he said.

Section 144 has been imposed in Hyderabad and adjoining Cyberabad commissionerate. Four or more people were not allowed to gather at one place.

Restrictions were also being imposed on the traffic flow on some routes including near the state assembly and Tank Bund.

As the Million March was scheduled to begin at 1 pm, schools have declared half day holiday to enable the students to reach home safely before the protest begins.


Image: Heavy security bandobast in Hyderabad ahead of the protest rally
Photographs: SnapsIndia
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