TRS shutdown hits life in Telangana

July 19th, 2008 - 2:15 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh

Hyderabad, July 19 (IANS) The shutdown in large parts of Andhra Pradesh called by the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) to press its demand for a separate state evoked total response in some districts and partial in some others Saturday, affecting normal life. Dozens of buses of state-owned Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) were damaged as the TRS activists resorted to violence at several places.

The protesters set ablaze an APSRTC bus and a private vehicle and damaged about 50 buses to enforce the shutdown to protest the “failure of Congress MPs in the region to mount pressure on their party-led UPA government to concede the demand for separate Telangana state ahead of the confidence vote in parliament”.

The protest hit normal life and affected transport services. Shops, business establishments, cinema theatres and educational institutions remained closed.

The shutdown evoked partial response in state capital Hyderabad but was near total in Warangal, Karimnagar, Medak, Nizamabad and Adilabad. The shutdown was partial in Ranga Reddy, Mahabubnagar and Khammam.

In Godavarikhani in Karimnagar district, TRS workers set on fire an APSRTC bus. The protesters tried to set ablaze two buses in Warangal district.

Holding their pink party flag and raising slogans of ‘Jai Telangana’, the TRS activists were going around the towns to enforce the shutdown.

The TRS activists staged sit-ins outside bus stations early morning and did not allow the APSRTC personnel to ply the buses. The protesters damaged window panes and deflated bus tyres in several towns and villages.

They also staged road and rail blockades, affecting all forms of traffic. In Hyderabad, the police arrested 100 activists when they staged a sit-in at the busy RTC cross roads, bringing vehicular traffic to a halt.

The TRS activists have been organising protest demonstrations for the last three days. Educational institutions were closed Friday on a call given by the student wing of TRS while the party staged sit-ins outside the homes of Congress MPs to urge them to pressurise UPA to concede the demand for separate statehood to Telangana.

TRS, which has two members in the Lok Sabha, has decided to vote against UPA when the government faces a trust vote in parliament July 22. The decision came after UPA turned down its condition that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh give a categorical assurance on launching the process for formation of separate Telangana.

TRS has also decided to issue a whip to force suspended MP A. Narendra to vote against the Congress-led government.

Vowing revenge against the government for its ‘betrayal’ of Telangana people, TRS chief and MP K. Chandrasekhara Rao is trying to bring together other smaller parties to vote against the UPA. He is in Delhi to meet leaders of like-minded parties.

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