The state government cracked down on the bus yatra of the Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC) on Sunday and arrested over a dozen of its leaders.
The yatra was meant to boost the morale of coal miners, who have been on strike for a month over the statehood demand.
The crackdown comes as the Congress central leadership continued discussion with the leaders of its state unit, including PCC president Botsa Satyanarayana, on Sunday to arrive at a solution to the statehood issue.
Over 70,000 miners in nearly 50 coal mines across Warangal, Karimnagar, Adilabad and Khammam districts are on strike, stopping coal production and thereby crippling power generation in the state.
Of late, the state government managed to woo a section of miners in Khammam district by offering them double wages. The bus yatra was meant to persuade the miners to intensify the strike.
The police stopped the bus carrying TJAC convener Prof M Kodandaram and 16 other leaders at Pembarthi in Warangal district, about 150 km northeast of Hyderabad. The leaders were arrested for disturbing the peace, an offence carrying a six-month jail term or a fine or both.
Various groups demanding statehood for Telangana have condemned the arrests. Calling it "undemocratic", chief of TRS K Chandrasekhara Rao demanded the release of all the leaders.
Roadblocks were held in several parts on Telangana.