Several trains cancelled ahead of Telangana march
In a move which angered Telangana protagonists, the railways have cancelled over 40 trains and all local and sub-urban train services in Hyderabad in view of Sunday's Telangana march.
In an attempt to prevent people from other districts of Telangana from reaching Hyderabad, the South Central Railway cancelled 12 express and 25 passenger trains. Another two express and five passenger trains have also been partially cancelled.
The railways also cancelled all sub-urban train services and Multi-Modal Transport Service (MMTS) or local trains.
The railways' move, which reportedly came on the advise of Andhra Pradesh Police, evoked sharp reaction from Congress MPs from Telangana. They lodged their protest with railway officials and the state government.
The cancellation of trains was announced even as Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) accused the government of creating hurdles to foil the march despite giving permission for it.
Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) convenor M. Kodandaram and other leaders alleged that the police were continuing to arrest Telangana activists coming to the city from various Telangana districts.
They demanded that the arrests be stopped immediately and both the government and the police cooperate with the JAC in the conduct of peaceful march on the banks of Hussain Sagar.
Kodandaram, JAC leader Srinivas Goud, Telangana Jagruthi president Kavita and others met Police Commissioner Anurag Sharma and demanded that the police stop creating hurdles and release those arrested during the last few days.
After several days of stand-off, the government Friday night gave permission for the march albeit with certain conditions. The JAC is allowed to conduct the march only on Necklace Road while it wanted to have the protest on Tank Bund as well.
Police Saturday issued orders giving permission for the march. They said the march can be held only on the Buddha Bhavan-P.V. Ghat stretch from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Kodandaram was hopeful that despite the repressive measures by the government, Telangana supporters in large numbers would turn out for the march. "We will announce our future course of action at the march," he told reporters.
Leaders of JAC, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), Communist Party of India (CPI), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and organisations of employees, teachers, students, lawyers, journalists and people from other walks of life decided to start rallies from different points in the city and gather at Necklace Road.
Eight Congress MPs from the Telangana region have announced their decision to participate in the march. The state ministers from the region, who played a key role in obtaining permission for the march, may also participate in the protest.
BJP leader Vidyasagar Rao, however, cautioned the Congress MPs and ministers that their participation in the march could create law and order problems as the people of Telangana were unhappy with the Congress for its failure to carve out a separate state.
In a related development, the government refused to permit Osmania University students from taking out a rally from the campus to Necklace Road. Leaders of students met Home Minister Sabita Indra Reddy and said they want to join the march in a rally from the campus but she refused to grant permission.
Revolutionary balladeer Gaddar also visited Hussain Sagar Saturday to declare his support for the Telangana march. He appealed to people to turn out in large numbers and give a strong message to the central government.