The Andhra Pradesh capital turned into a battle zone on Sunday with the police and Telangana statehood activists fighting pitched battles in various parts of the city during a march called by the Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC).
The agitators, who came in large numbers from different directions, foxed the police by breaking the barricades and pushing through towards the venue of a rally in central Hyderabad. Besides brick-batting the police the activists attacked public and private properties, setting fire to a police vehicle and outdoor broadcast (OB) van of a news channel. They also attacked and damaged the Doordarshan OB van.
Elsewhere in the city, protestors torched the Necklace Road railway station and at least three hotels and eateries in the area. Some protestors removed fishplates from railway tracks on the Secunderabad-Hyderabad line.
The protest turned violent after the police foiled attempts by students of Osmania University to take out a motorcycle rally to the venue of the meeting on Necklace Road by breaking through a cordon of police personnel in riot gear at the main gate of the university. The students pelted the police with stones and a pitched battle ensued. The police then fired teargas canisters and rubber bullets as the battle continued for several hours in which a student was injured.
As news of the police action on students spread, the atmosphere in other parts of the city were charged and agitators attacked police personnel by hurling stones and setting fire to vehicles.
The Telangana March, which has the support of all major political parties barring the Congress and TDP, aims to kickstart the movement for Telangana state, keeping in view the general elections due in less than two years.