Traffic was thrown out of gear in several parts of Hyderabad as Telangana groups staged road blockades to intensify the ongoing movement for a separate Telangana state. Police arrested dozens of leaders and activists.
As the general strike by government employees entered its 15th day, leaders of the Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) and its constituents like the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stalled traffic by squatting on the roads at busy intersections.
Police had a tough time in controlling the protestors as JAC has called for road blockades at 100 places in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad.
Tension prevailed at a few places as Telangana leaders resisted police attempts to arrest them. The protest caused huge traffic jams in the busy areas.
JAC convenor M Kodandaram and his supporters were arrested at Paradise, a major commercial hub in Secunderabad.
TRS legislator K Tarakara Rama Rao was held at Mettuguda in Secunderabad. He, along with his supporters, lay down on the road and resisted police attempts to arrest them. The cops bodily lifted them and shifted them to a waiting police vehicle.
"The government is trying to suppress the peaceful agitation but we will not rest till we achieve a separate state," said Rama Rao.
Senior BJP leader Bandaru Dattatreya and his party activists were arrested when they blocked traffic at Abids, one of the busiest areas in Hyderabad.
At Moazzam Jahi Market, a trading hub, police arrested Telangana lawyers during the road blockade.
Earlier, TRS MLA Harish Rao was arrested at Hitec City, which houses many IT giants. The protest led to traffic snarl for some time, causing inconvenience to employees going to various IT companies.
The legislator accused government of witch-hunt against striking government employees. He warned Congress MP from Vijayawada L Rajagagopal against provoking the people.
Traffic was also thrown out of gear at L B Nagar on the city fringes when BJP and TRS workers blocked traffic.
Police also arrested TDP floor leader in assembly E Rajender at Tirumalgery and another leader N Narasimha Reddy at RTC cross roads.
ABVP activists staged a road blockade at the NCC Gate at Osmania University.
Tension prevailed at state secretariat as striking employees tried to stop others from attending their duties. Police arrested dozens of employees.
Road blockades were also staged in different parts of Telangana region to protest police attack on Swami Goud, a leader of the Telangana employees.
Pro-Telangana lawyers also lodged a complaint against police with the state Human Rights Commission. They demanded action against Deputy Commissioner of Police Stephen Ravindra for allegedly attacking Goud at the transport commissioner's office on Tuesday.
The commission sought a report from the director general of police by Monday.