statesman news service
HYDERABAD, 14 JUNE: Telangana Rashtra Samithi MLAs burnt the effigy of Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy on the Assembly premises, protesting against the severe security restrictions to thwart their “Chalo Assembly” protest programme. The Pro-Telangana parties’ march to the Assembly was, meanwhile, foiled by police who took into preventive custody over a thousand statehood activists, including senior TRS and BJP leaders, and blocked all roads leading to the legislature building.
Earlier in the day, the TRS and the BJP had demanded that the House adopt a resolution favouring statehood for Telangana and protested against the “undemocratic curbs” imposed against the protesters. In the afternoon, TRS chief Mr K Chandrashekar Rao called a bandh across Telangana to protest against alleged police high-handedness.
This was preceded by a bout of drama when TRS MLAs K Sambaiah and D Vinay Bhaskar climbed up the Assembly building using the service stairs. They raised slogans and tried to hoist a black flag and a TRS flag.
No business was transacted in the AP Assembly for the fourth successive day. When the House was adjourned for the day at 10.45 a.m, TRS legislators came out of the lobbies and pulled out the chief minister&’s effigy near the MLAs’ alighting point and set it ablaze.
They then headed to Gate Number 1 used by the CM and his ministers. Their aim was lie down on the path to prevent the CM from leaving. But by then, Mr Kiran had left the Assembly. As they continued with their protest, police bundled them away. Marshals also climbed the Assembly building and arrested the two MLAs who had gone up. BJP and CPI legislators briefly staged a dharna at Gate Number 2, but they too were arrested and taken away.
Police, meanwhile, had turned the core area of the city into a virtual fortress, with roads leading to the Assembly building closed to traffic and over 12,000 police and paramilitary personnel deployed in the area. Police took into preventive custody about 1,400 Telangana supporters in Hyderabad and Cyberabad police commissionerates. Scores of statehood activists were also detained in other Telangana districts. Schools and businesses were closed and the state road transport corporation cancelled several buses because of the traffic diversions. Many local trains were also cancelled.