Angry Telangana leaders called for a shutdown on Saturday in protest against what they said was use of excessive force by the state government to prevent the Chalo Assembly programme of pro-Telangana groups on Friday. The protests were partially successful although all TRS,BJP and CPI MLAs and leaders were arrested by noon along with hundreds of protesters.
Besides,deploying over 20,000 police,paramilitary,and AP Special Police personnel,squads of sub-inspectors and constables were used to lock down several residential areas and societies keeping citizens indoors and scaring off commuters. Related: Govt brought in non-Telangana cops to quell protest,says TRSOsmania University campus turned into a war-zone as hundreds of students clashed with police. Police lobbed tear-gas shells in which several students were injured. All schools,business establishments and offices remained closed. Public transport facilities were cancelled putting people to immense hardships.
Prof M Kodandaram,convener of Telangana Joint Action Committee,was allegedly roughed up and man-handled before being bundled into a car and placed under arrest at Ashoknagar. The government has turned Hyderabad into a police camp but that has failed to stop us from organising this protest. Our goal was to reach Assembly complex and highlight our demand for Telangana and we have done that. It appears martial law has been imposed. Policemen have been given orders to intimidate and threaten the common man even if he is going to work, Prof Kodandaram said over phone after his arrest.
In spite of the clampdown,D Vijay Bhaskar,MLA Warangal (West) and Kaveti Samaiah,Sirpur MLA,climbed the Assembly building and hoisted a black flag,even as CM N Kiran Kumar Reddy was inside the House. Security personnel wrestled the MLAs down after an hour-long ruckus,following which Medak MP Vijaya Shanti made a dramatic appearance and was arrested. Inside the House,TRS and TDP MLAs disrupted proceedings over government crackdown prompting Speaker N Manohar to adjourn the house till Monday.
As hundreds of protesters were arrested across the city,TRS president K Chandrasekhara Rao alleged that the government was scared and was using repressive methods to scuttle the agitation.
All TRS and BJP MLAs and Congress rebel MPs Gaddam Vivekananda and M Jagannadam,who recently joined TRS,were arrested. K Kavita,daughter of K Chandrasekhara Rao,BJP state unit president G Kishan Reddy,senior BJP leader Bandaru Dattaraya,CPI state secretary K Narayana and other leaders were also among the arrested.