The Telangana agitation took a violent turn on Friday with pro-statehood agitators attacking legislators and activists from the main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP), which opposes bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. TDP activists retaliated leading to clashes at various places.
On the 11th day of the strike in Telangana region, activists of the Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC), which comprises the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and other groups, attacked hunger strike camps of TDP leaders at Warangal, Karimnagar, Medak, Nalgonda and Mahabubnagar districts.
The TDP leaders were on a day-long fast demanding an early decision on Telangana by the Centre.
The TRS and others allege the TDP does not have a clear stand on separate statehood. The protesters were demanding the TDP legislators resign before participating in the movement. "What is this farce? TDP leader N Chandrababu Naidu should declare he is in favour of Telangana," said Someshwar Rao, a JAC activist at Mahbubnagar.
Meanwhile, CPI(ML) New Democracy, a Naxalite group holding sway in Khammam and north Telangana districts, mobilised a one-lakh-strong crowd at Khammam town on Thursday in support of the Telangana demand.
The TRS and BJP shared the dais with the rebel outfit. A former intelligence official said the rebels' entry could lead to more violence.
The JAC called a 48-hour rail roko protest from midnight. The state transport corporation buses are already off the roads, and the auto unions will join the pro-Telangana stir on September 24 and 25.
Osmania University students' JAC called for closure of all petrol bunks and liquor shops in Hyderabad on Saturday.