Telangana protesters torch
buses and railway counter

HYDERABAD — The agitation for separate Telangana, which appears to have reached a decisive phase, took a violent turn in the city on Wednesday when activists set fire to two buses and torched a booking counter at a local railway station.

By P S Jayaram

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Published: Thu 29 Sep 2011, 11:48 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 2:07 AM

Police sources said a private bus meant to ferry employees of a software company was set on fire by activists near Jamia Osmania railway station adjacent to the Osmania University campus, the nerve-centre of the movement. The university campus has been the scene of pitched battles between the students and police, with the latter preventing the agitators from leaving the campus in the past few days. The Telangana Joint Action Committee had called for a ‘road blockade’ in the city following the alleged beating up of Swamy Goud, a prominent leader of government employees, by the police on Tuesday. Protests were held across the city and traffic snarls were seen in many arterial roads and junctions of the city. At Sithaphalmandi railway station, separate statehood activists torched a booking counter and fled the scene before the police could arrive. In another incident, unidentified persons, suspected to be activists, set afire a private bus in Nalgonda district after forcing the passengers to get down. The bus was on its way to Vijayawada from Hyderabad.

Meanwhile, TRS President K Chandrasekhar Rao’s son and legislator K T Rama Rao warned both the UPA government at the Centre and the Kiran Kumar Reddy administration in the State that they would be responsible if the situation in the region spiraled out of control. Speaking to mediapersons just before he was hauled into a waiting van by police for staging protest in the city, he said: “The central government should intervene and make a statement. If they don’t pacify the people of the region, the situation can go out of control and the government’s alone would be responsible for this. Please act and respond before violence erupts in Telangana.”

Stating that the state government was trying to suppress mass sentiment, Rama Rao said: “If the situation gets out of control, no one will be able to stop it. You may have hundreds of policemen but we have the backing of Telangana people in crores.” Deputy floor leader of TRS in the State Assembly T Harish Rao, also speaking to mediapersons, said: “We intend to lay siege to the capital in the second week of October,” Harish Rao said while leading a protest at Hitec City, the information technology hub of Hyderabad.

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