Million march: Hyderabad comes to standstill as routes sealed (Lead)

March 10th, 2011 - 3:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Telangana Hyderabad, March 10 (IANS) Life in Hyderabad came to a standstill Thursday as police sealed all routes leading to Tank Bund, where the Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC) plans to hold the million march this afternoon despite ban orders.

Police rounded up hundreds of Telangana activists across the region, comprising 10 districts, including Hyderabad, while authorities cancelled about 50 trains, suspended bus services and erected checkposts on the outskirts of Hyderabad to foil the march.

Violating the ban orders in the limits of Hyderabad and Cyberabad police commissionerates, about 50 activists managed to reach Tank Bund but were arrested.

Raising slogans of ‘Jai Telangana’, the protesters from Khammam district tried to proceed towards the road.

The three kilometre-long Tank Bund along the picturesque Hussain Sagar Lake has turned into a fortress with deployment of security forces.

The usually busy road, the most important link between twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad, wore a deserted look.

TJAC leaders and activists were planning to remain at the venue till 4 p.m. to demand the central government to table a bill in parliament for the formation of Telangana state.

The police have refused to give permission for the march on the ground that it will disrupt normal life. But the traffic curbs on 15 key routes triggered chaos.

The restrictions threw the traffic out of gear. Students had a harrowing time in reaching exam centres on time.

There was a curfew-like situation around the Tank Bund, assembly, secretariat and Raj Bhavan as police imposed traffic restrictions.

The 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. 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.

The traffic jams also affected the employees of information technology companies. However, the work in major IT hubs of Hitec City and Gacchibowli remained unaffected.

Police continued to arrest hundreds of people in entire Telangana region. Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leader and former minister N. Narasimha Reddy was arrested near his house here.

Police have set up checkposts on all the roads connecting Hyderabad to other districts. Authorities cancelled 47 trains to prevent people from heading towards the city.

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 the Congress and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) have also announced they will participate in the march.

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