Telangana strike loses steam, buses back on road | india | Hindustan Times
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Telangana strike loses steam, buses back on road

The strike in support of the statehood demand in Telangana, which has paralysed the region for 34 days, appears to be fizzling out following a government crackdown on protesters over the weekend.

india Updated: Oct 17, 2011 01:31 IST
HT Correspondent

The strike in support of the statehood demand in Telangana, which has paralysed the region for 34 days, appears to be fizzling out following a government crackdown on protesters over the weekend.

More than 3,000 participants of the three-day rail blockade, who were arrested on Saturday, were booked under non-bailable charges and remanded in judicial custody.

Those arrested included Congress parliamentarians Ponnam Prabhakar and S Rajaiah, Telangana Rashtra Samity (TRS) MP Vijayshanti and TRS legislators Harish Rao and E Rajender.

Within 24 hours, over 2 lakh employees — including teachers of government schools and state road transport corporation staff — called off their strike. The 60,000-odd coal miners of Singareni are likely to follow suit.

By Sunday evening, buses were back on roads. Schools and colleges are likely to become fully functional from Tuesday following the government’s threats to derecognise them.

The disruption of bus services and the coal production stoppage had brought the region to a halt.

But the arrest of the leaders of the movement has brought warnings from several quarters.

Five Congress parliamentarians who called on their colleagues in jail, said they would topple their own government in the state if the cases against the protesters were not withdrawn immediately.

The Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC) has announced a strike on Monday to protest against the "police excesses".

In Hyderabad, activists laid siege on the residences of home minister Sabita Indra Reddy and panchayat raj minister K Jana Reddy, who hail from Telangana, accusing them of betraying the statehood cause. But the police dispersed the mob and arrested over 100 protesters. More protests are likely to erupt, say political experts.