The `Save Andhra Pradesh’ public meeting organised by the AP Non- Gazetted Officers’ (APNGOs) in protest against bifurcation of the State has passed off peacefully here on Saturday in the backdrop of a bandh call given by the Telangana Joint Action Committee.

Over 50,000 Government employees from Seemandhra region attended the meeting held in the Lal Bahadur Stadium under the watchful eye of police who made elaborate security arrangements.

A host of speakers including Ashok Babu, President of APNGOs said the creation of separate Telangana with Hyderabad would deprive the people of Seemandhra regions access to quality higher education as well as employment opportunities.

A `Million March’ would also be conducted in the state capital soon if the proposed bifurcation was not withdrawn immediately, Ashok Babu said.

This was the first major public meeting organised outside the Seemandhra region against bifurcation after the decision of the Congress Working Committee to create Telangana State over a month ago.

In the meanwhile, the city was almost shutdown in response to a bandh call given by the Telangana Joint Action Committee protesting the `anti-Telangana’ stand of Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy.

SHUTDOWN

The AP Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) withdrew many city bus services and the roads were empty. Hotels, petrol pumps, cinemas and other business establishments remained closed since morning while educational institutes had already declared holiday.

Tension prevailed at the Nizam College Hostel near the LB Stadium as the Osmania University students pelted stones on the employees proceeding towards the venue of the meeting.

The police also fired teargas shells near the Osmania University gate to disperse students who attempted to come out in rally in support of Telangana state. There were sporadic incidents of stone pelting on the buses in the outskirts of city this morning.

naga.gunturi@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on September 7, 2013)
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