Million march for Telangana shuts down Hyderabad
Normal life in Hyderabad was thrown out of gear on Thursday as police sealed all routes leading towards Tank Bund, where the Telangana Joint Action Committee plans to hold the million march this afternoon despite ban orders.
There was a curfew-like situation around the Tank Bund, assembly, secretariat and Raj Bhavan as police imposed traffic restrictions to foil the march.
Students appearing for intermediate examinations had a tough time reaching the examination centres in twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad due to traffic restrictions.
Authorities gave students an extra half-an-hour to enable them to reach the centres.
The traffic curbs also led to huge traffic jams in busy areas like Koti, Narayanguna, Kachiguda, Nampally, Lakdi Ka Pul, Khairtabad and Secunderabad.
All schools and colleges in the state capital and neighbouring Ranga Reddy districts were shut as a precautionary measure. Shops and business establishments were also closed in most areas.
State-owned Road Transport Corporation (RTC) suspended some services in the city and outskirts and diverted others. MMTS (local) trains were also suspended on majority of routes as a precautionary measure.
Police continued to arrest hundreds of people in entire Telangana comprising 10 districts, including Hyderabad, to foil the march. Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leader and former minister N. Narasimha Reddy was arrested near his house in Hyderabad.
Police have set up checkposts on all the roads connecting Hyderabad to other districts to stop people from reaching Hyderabad. Over 30 trains were cancelled to prevent people from heading towards the city.
Buses were being checked at every checkpost and only those travelling to Hyderabad for purposes other than participating in the million march were being allowed to proceed.
Over 12,000 policemen, including the central paramilitary forces, have been deployed across Hyderabad. Majority of the forces were deployed around assembly and Tank Bund.
Osmania University was tense as police sealed the gates while student leaders said they would reach Tank Bund at any cost.
Police have already denied permission to TJAC to hold the march and have imposed prohibitory orders banning assembly of four or more people.
TJAC convenor M. Kodandaram has condemned arrests and accused police of human rights violations.
He said the march from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. would be peaceful and was only aimed at drawing the attention of the central government to their demand for a bill in parliament to carve out separate Telangana state.
TJAC comprises the TRS, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and other groups fighting for separate state. MPs and state legislators of Congress and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) have also announced they will participate in the march.