March to Telangana assembly foiled, activists held

Hyderabad, Sep 30 (IANS) A march by Telangana Democratic Front (TDF) members to the assembly here to protest killing of two Maoists by the police was foiled on Wednesday as many leaders in Hyderabad and other districts were arrested.

Leaders and workers of various organisations were detained in different districts to prevent them from heading for Hyderabad to participate in the march. Eminent academician Chuka Ramaiah was kept under house arrest in Hyderabad. He said arrests will not stop the movement.

Well-known revolutionary writer Varavara Rao was taken into custody at RTC Cross Roads when he along with his supporters were proceeding towards the assembly building.

Leaders of CPI, CPI-M and other Left parties and people’s organisations were arrested at Bagh Lingampally, from where the TDF planned to march to the assembly.

Those arrested include TDF president Chada Venkat Reddy, professor P.L. Visweswara, professor Vinod Kumar and CPI-M state secretary T. Veerabhadram.

The assembly building in the heart of the city virtually turned into a fortress as police imposed restrictions on all roads leading towards the assembly. A large number of policemen were deployed in the area to prevent protesters.

Tension prevailed at Telangana martyrs’ memorial at Gun Park in front of the assembly building when a youth tried to immolate self. Alert policemen prevented him from doing so and arrested him.

Tension prevailed at Osmania University as students gathered on the campus to march in violation of the prohibitory orders imposed by police. Policemen in riot gear were deployed at the gates to prevent students from coming out.

PDSU activists took out a rally from girls’ hostel but were stopped at NCC Gate by the police. A heated argument ensued between student leaders and the police officers. The protesters were arrested.

Police also arrested two more groups of students including one at the library. Student leaders took strong exception to police entering the hostels and library. Scores of students and their leaders were arrested at Osmania University and Nizam College hostels since Tuesday night.

Police denied permission to the march on the ground that Maoists may participate in it and indulge in violence.

Those arrested in districts like Warangal, Khammam, Mahabubnagar, Karimnagar, Medak and Nalgonda include women and students.

Raising slogan against the government and calling for an end to “fake encounters”, the protesters took out rallies in different parts of the state.

Veerabhadram said 3,000 to 4,000 activists were arrested across the state. He termed the arrests as undemocratic.

Maoists Shruthi and Vidyasagar were killed near Medaram of Warangal district on September 16. It was the first such killing after the formation of separate Telangana state last year.

Terming it as a “fake encounter”, 370 organisations, including 10 left parties and the groups which fought for separate Telangana state, have come together under the banner of TDF to condemn the killings. It is demanding probe by a sitting judge.

While denying permission for ‘chalo assembly’, police said it was reliably learnt that TDF was formed at the instance of CPI-Maoist and the programme was being organised in support of its cause and the ideology.

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