statesman news service
HYDERABAD, 31 AUG: Tension in the Andhra Pradesh Secretariat scaled a new high with Telangana and Seemandhra employees taking out rallies and charging at each other. Sloganeering reached deafening proportions with both trying to outdo one another.
Telangana employees, demanding that the statehood process be hastened, are observing a protest week. They hold a meeting at the portico of the J Block. To its right is the L Block where Seemandhra employees hold their meeting.
Today, the Telangana employees held the meeting right at the junction of the two seven storied blocks. Their Seemandhra counterparts apparently found this provocative and suddenly charged towards the Telangana camp.
Police with ropes and some in full riot gear formed a human barricade several layers deep. At one stage they were almost squashed by charges from both groups. At either ends empty water bottles were being banged and drums suddenly appeared and the government&’s order prohibiting such activity evaporated with the rising decibel levels.
The Seemandhra employees tied headbands with slogans “UPA roll back (Telangana) decision” and “Hyderabad for all”. The Telangana employees retaliated with placards “If Hyderabad is for all, why not Vizag and Tirupati (both are in Seemandhra)”. They shouted that Hyderabad is no one&’s ancestral property but belonged to Telangana alone.
Interestingly couples were caught in the divide. In one case the wife was standing with the Seemandhra employees while her husband was standing with the Telangana employees. The reverse was true in another case. They did not to speak further once they realised they were talking to a reporter.
Central Zone Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr Kamalhasan Reddy told The Statesman that tension peaked to a new high today as both sections were trying to be provocative.