Hyderabad shutdown hits normal life

September 30th, 2011 - 7:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Telangana Hyderabad, Sep 30 (IANS) Normal life was affected in Hyderabad Friday during a daylong shutdown called by the Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) as part of the ongoing general strike for a separate Telangana state.

The shutdown was peaceful and near total in most parts of Hyderabad and its twin city Secunderabad as shops, business establishment and educational institutions were closed.

Shopping malls, petrol bunks and theatres also remained shut. The usually busy roads wore a deserted look as majority of auto-rickshaws participated in the strike while buses of state-owned Road Transport Corporation (RTC) remained off roads for the 12th consecutive day in Hyderabad and the rest of Telangana.

No untoward incident took place during the shutdown. JAC leaders termed the shutdown a total success and claimed that people voluntarily participated in the bandh.

However, the shutdown had little impact on life in the Old city, where shops were opened and majority of three-wheelers plied. In some areas where shops and petrol bunks were opened in the morning, the shopkeepers later downed the shutters, making it a total bandh.

Police arrested dozens of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) activists who tried to advance towards the state assembly building after staging a sit-in at Telangana martyrs’ memorial Gun Park.

BJP workers were also arrested in Old City when they tried to take out a rally.

Pro-Telangana lawyers forced closure of shops in L.B. Nagar area.

Government employees in Telangana region continued their strike for the 18th day while their counterparts from Andhra and Rayalaseema regions reached the state secretariat and other offices amid tight police security.

The IT companies were largely unaffected as majority of cabs were plying on roads and railways were also operating local trains to Hitec City — the IT hub housing many software giants.

This is the first time since the general strike began in the region the JAC has called a shutdown only in Hyderabad.

As the strike by various sections of people has already affected normal life in nine other districts, the JAC is focusing on Hyderabad, where a large number of people from Andhra and Rayalaseema regions live.

Policemen and Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel escorted the buses carrying employees from the two regions to the state secretariat.

Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao has appealed to people to make the shutdown a success. Confident that a separate state would soon become a reality, he assured people there would be no shutdowns in the near future.

The ongoing strike by government employees has paralysed the administration in Telangana, which comprises 10 districts, including Hyderabad.

The strike by employees in state-owned Singareni Collieries has affected power generation, forcing the authorities to impose cuts in supply to domestic, agriculture and industrial sectors.

Government and private educational institutions in most parts of Telangana were closed for the last 15 days as teachers were also participating in the strike.

Public transport also remained paralysed in Telangana as employees of the RTC continued their strike. The authorities, however, were operating 200-300 buses in Hyderabad every day with the help of private drivers.

Unidentified people Thursday night set afire a private bus at Dundigal on the city outskirts.

The bus belonged to Diwakar Travels owned by Congress leader and former minister J.C. Diwakar Reddy. The legislator from Rayalaseema region is opposed to bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.

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