Telangana issue: ‘Million march' cripples city life

Our Bureau Hyderabad | Updated on November 21, 2011 Published on March 10, 2011

Out of gear: Telangana activists chase a Government vehicle after damaging its wind screen on the Tank Bund in Hyderabad on Thursday. - Photo: P.V. Sivakumar

Statues damaged, traffic diverted

The much-touted ‘Million march', called by the pro-Telangana activists, though did not measure up to its numbers, did, however, cripple life in vast parts of the city and led to destruction of statues on the tank bund and attacks on some people's representatives today.

Amidst unprecedented police protection, extensive traffic diversions and ban on processions, thousands of people reached the tank bund (which connects the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad), from different parts of Telangana.

Congress(I) senior leader, Mr K. Kesava Rao and MP Mr Madhu Yashki were at the receiving end of the protestors anger and were nearly roughed up. The Osmania University, witnessed stone pelting and violence, with police resorting to tear gas and firing rubber bullets.

Mr K Chandrasekhar Rao, Chief of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and other prominent leaders of TRS made a brief appearance on the Tank Bund.

The contentious examinations of Intermediate and CBSE, with lakhs of students and parents worried, however went off well. The softening of stand by the TJAC to have the march between 1 pm and 4 pm allowing the examinations scheduled in the morning helped students.

Traffic diversions

On the other hand, the tough stand taken by the State Government to stop the march, saw huge deployment of police force in the Osmania University and tank bund and necklace road areas. They also put up barricades for traffic diversions.

Throughout the afternoon there was palpable tension in the region. Periodic stone pelting, destruction of a couple of statues (Tank bund is lined with statues of renowned Telugus specially installed by N.T. Rama Rao in the 1980s) by agitators and marked the day.

The call for the march given by the Telangana Joint Action Committee, forced the IT industry to take its own measures to reach their staff to offices.

While some hired hotel rooms or made arrangements for essential staff to stay back, other organised special transport as well or asked staff to come very early.

The city presented contrasting views — thin traffic in some areas as shops, schools and establishments shut and heavy traffic in others, where people were going to offices or homes and which fell around the march area.

The echo of the march was felt in several Telangana districts, where protests were held. There were also bitter reactions in Andhra regions to the destruction of statutes on the tank bund.

Despite several pro-Telengana leaders taken into custody as they proceeded to take part in the march, thousands of Telengana supporters wound their way from various parts of the city to gather at Tank Bund.

Trains cancelled

“This government cannot suppress the Telangana agitation by arrests. The people are only expressing their democratic wish,” Mr T Harish Rao, MLA belonging to the Telangana Rashtriya Samithi, said, while being taken into custody.

The police also rounded up hundreds of Telangana activists across the region. While the South Central Railways cancelled about 40 trains, bus services in the city were affected, heaping difficulties on office goers.

An ATM of Andhra Bank was also damaged and loss is not known immediately

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Published on March 10, 2011
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