With the Telangana March still 12 days away, the separate state issue is back on the boil. Monday was Telangana Liberation Day, and separatist groups worked up quite some steam.
The began with a familiar standoff -- followed by the usual pyrotechnics between the police and students of Osmania University when the latter sought to take a procession out of campus. And in the Assembly, TRS MLAs kicked up a ruckus on the first day of the monsoon session, wanting the government to introduce a resolution on Telangana.
In the evening, over two dozen members of the Telangana Advocates Joint Action Committee trespassed into the residence of Congress MP Kavuri Sambasiva Rao on Road No. 1, Banjara Hills and ransacked furniture, damaged window panes and flower pots.
According to the police, only the watchman and some servants were in the house when the incident happened. Sources said policemen were there too when the ‘advocates’ gathered, but were simply shoved aside. The MP is a powerful lobbyist against state bifurcation. His staff have registered cases with the Punjagutta police against the trespassers.
There were reports in the evening of unidentified ‘Telangana protagonists’ setting fire to two schools buses parked in a playground in KPHB police station limits. Sub-inspector Anjaneyalu said the buses belonged to the Obul Reddy Public School. They were parked in the playground at about 10.30 pm and the drivers went home. Soon thereafter, local people noticed smoke issuing from the vehicles and called the fire service. The flames were immediately put out and a few front row seats were burnt.
Apart from these incidents, several other asides gave charge to an electric day. Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC) chairman Prof M Kodandaram managed to offend the sensibilities of Telangana Congress leaders by, allegedly, warning minister D Sridhar Babu that he would meet the same fate as his father if he did not join the Telangana movement. Sridhar Babu’s father, the late Sripada Rao, was murdered by naxalites.
The day began with political parties celebrating Telangana Liberation Day at their respective offices including TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu who tried yet again to use the occasion to ingratiate himself with the people of Telangana. He said development was needed in Telangana but could not get himself to express support for a seprate state. The PCC too organised a similar programme and its chief spoke passionately about development of backward areas.
Elsewhere in the city, there were protests when news spread that exchief minister Kasu Brahmananda Reddy’s statue was set on fire. Brahamananda Reddy was known for his anti-Telangana stand during the 1969 Telangana agitation.