Hyderabad: Telangana supporters have begun their 48-hour blockade of trains in the region from today as part of the ongoing general strike in support of separate statehood demand.
TRS and the Telangana political Joint Action Committee (JAC), which is organising the 'sakala janula samme' (strike by all sections of people) since September 13, have made elaborate arrangements to make the agigation successful.
Nearly 58 trains have been cancelled, diverted or regulated in view of the 48-hour 'rail roko'. Many South-bound trains move via Telangana region to reach their destinations.
As part of the general strike, the Telangana supporters today held rallies, fasts and other forms of protest across the region.
Schools, colleges and other educational institutions remained closed and the buses of Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) continued to be suspended.
The plan of Telugu Desam leaders to hold fasts went awry as TRS and other Telangana supporters tried to obstruct them. Clashes took place between TDP activists and workers of TRS and others at some places in the process.
The TRS and others allege that the TDP does not have a clear stand on separate statehood demand and that the party president N Chandrababu Naidu is a hurdle in the formation of separate Telangana.
Congress Rajya Sabha member K Keshav Rao and other ruling party leaders expressed solidarity with pro-Telangana teachers at a protest.
Congress MLA R Damodar Reddy said the party leaders from Telangana were ready to take "tough decisions" if no positive decision came on separate state demand by the end of this month.
"We are ready for tough decisions, we are ready for any sacrifices. If necessary, we shall try to destabilise this government," Damodar Reddy said.
The pro-Telangana government employees continued their protests at the state secretariat. Shouting slogans in support of Telangana, they held sit-ins in the secretariat premises.
The pro-Telangana employees also disrupted a press conference of state Civil Supplies Minister D Sridhar Babu, who hails from the region, and forced him to come out of the hall in their support.
The Telangana Auto Drivers Joint Action Committee (JAC) announced that its member auto unions would observe "auto bandh" for two days in Hyderabad and the Telangana districts in support of the 'strike by all sections of people.'
TRS MLA and party president K Chandrasekhar Rao's son K T Rama Rao, MLA and Chandrasekhar Rao's nephew T Harish Rao, JAC Convener M Kodandaram and other leaders addressed pro-Telangana employees at the various state government offices in Hyderabad.
On the other hand, State Road Transport Corporation buses remained off the roads for the fifth successive day leaving hundreds of commuters stranded.
The 12 day protest is showing signs of turning violent as TDP and TRS activists clashed in Warangal, Adilabad, Nalgonda, Karimnagar and Khammam districts where the TRS is seeking to strengthen its base.
TDP senior leader T Devender Goud lashed out the TRS over the incidents and strongly condemned its highhandedness.
Watch video as Rajdeep Sardesai discusses the strike with Telangana leader KT Rama Rao, TRS MLA
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Updated Date: Sep 24, 2011 14:28:21 IST