Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) on Sunday began with its vanta vaarpu or cook-and-eat agitation on Hyderabad roads to draw the attention of the central government to the demand for a separate Telangana state.
Hundreds of people, including leaders of various constituents of JAC, are participating in the unique form of protest in various parts of the city amid tight police security.
Protestors have set up kitchens on main thoroughfares and the busy traffic intersections since early Sunday, affecting the movement of vehicles. Activists, including women, were seen cutting vegetables, preparing ingredients and cooking food for breakfast and lunch.
Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) legislator Harish Rao launched the protest at Hitec City, the information technology hub. He was assisting other activists in cooking the food.
TRS chief K Chandrasekhara Rao's daughter Kavita, who heads cultural wing of the party, was sitting with other protestors on the road near the Indo-American Cancer Institute in Banjara Hills and cutting vegetables.
"This is the beginning of the final phase of Telangana movement and people want to convey to the central government that it should immediately form a separate state," she told reporters.
The TRS chief, along with his wife and other family members, will join the protest later in the day.
JAC convenor M Kodandaram and leaders of various associations of government employees in Telangana set up a huge kitchen near Telangana Martyrs' Memorial in front of the state assembly building in the heart of the city.
JAC leaders said they chose Sunday so that all sections of people could participate in the protest. They expect 100,000 kitchens to come up across the city and on the outskirts, and a turnout of 1.5 million protestors.
Police mobilised additional forces to tackle the protest while the organisers have warned the government against creating any hurdles in the "peaceful protest".
Police said no organisation sought permission for the protest. Hyderabad police commissioner A. K. Khan said their action would depend on the situation.