Telangana on boil, strike continues

September 23rd, 2011 - 5:11 pm ICT by IANS  

Telangana Hyderabad, Sep 23 (IANS) The indefinite ‘people’s strike’ in Telangana for statehood turned violent on the 11th day Friday as Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) activists attacked hunger strike camps of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leaders at several places.

Tension prevailed in parts of Warangal, Karimnagar, Medak, Nalgonda and Mahabubnagar districts as JAC activists tried to prevent TDP leaders from staging daylong hunger strike demanding a separate Telangana state. They were demanding that the TDP legislators resign before participating in the movement.

Activists of JAC, which comprises Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and other groups fighting for a separate state, attacked the car of TDP legislator R. Prakash Reddy at Narsampeta in Warangal district.

Tension also mounted in Hanamkonda town in the same district when students of Kakatiya University and JAC leaders clashed with TDP supporters at the hunger strike camp. JAC leaders alleged that a few students were injured when police baton-charged them.

TDP Telangana Forum convenor E. Dayakar Rao also had to face the fury of Telangana activists when he reached the hunger strike camp at Palakurti in Warangal. The clash between the two groups triggered tension.

Similar incidents were reported from Karimnagar, Medak and other districts. Police said they have beefed up security at hunger strike camps.

Meanwhile, the region continues to reel under the impact of the indefinite strike called by JAC.

Authorities from Friday imposed a one-hour cut in the free electricity to farmers as thermal power generation was further affected due to continued strike by employees of the state-owned Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL).

Coal production in 50 mines of SCCL spread over four districts in Telangana remained paralysed for the 11th day. A daily two-hour blackout is already in force in Hyderabad and other towns in the region while power-cut for semi-urban and rural areas range from four to eight hours.

For the fifth day, over 10,000 buses of the state-owned Road Transport Corporation (RTC) remained off roads in the region as over 60,000 employees continued their strike.

The two-day ‘rail blockade’ called by JAC on Saturday and Sunday threatens to paralyse rail traffic. South Central Railway (SCR) has already announced cancellation of almost all express and passenger trains in the region for two days.

The situation is likely to worsen as auto-rickshaws will also go off the roads in Hyderabad and nine other districts of the region from Friday midnight. The unions of three-wheeler owners and drivers have called for two-day ‘auto bandh’ in support of the Telangana movement.

Osmania University students’ JAC has also called for closure of all petrol bunks and liquor shops in the state capital on Saturday.

Schools and colleges remained closed across the region as over 1.5 lakh teachers continued their strike.

Unfazed by the government’s threat to invoke ‘no work no pay rule’, over four lakh employees continued to stay away from duties.

Medical services in government-run hospitals were also hit as doctors and other medical staff were attending only to emergency services since Thursday. Lawyers were also continuing their boycott of courts.

The region continued to be rocked by protests for a separate state.

Employees of central public sector undertakings in Telangana have also decided to go on mass leave Sep 26 to show solidarity with the movement.

Leaders of ruling Congress, who have set Sep 30 as fresh deadline for the central leadership to take a favourable decision on Telangana, Friday staged a protest at Telangana martyrs’ memorial Gun Park in front of the assembly building.

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