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‘Chalo Hyderabad’ march on Jan 3
Hyderabad, Dec 27 (IANS/Agencies):
Published on 27 Dec. 2009 10:57 PM IST
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Protests continued in Andhra Pradesh’s Telangana region for the fifth day Sunday demanding that the central government immediately initiate the process for separate statehood to Telangana while students of Osmania University here called for a ‘Chalo Hyderabad’ march Jan 3. The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of Osmania University students Sunday set an ultimatum for the government to make an announcement on initiating the process by Jan 2. It called for ‘Chalo Hyderabad’ where students from other parts of the region will march to Hyderabad. The JAC leaders told reporters that a massive meeting titled ‘vidyarthi grajna’ or ‘students roar’ would be held Jan 3 at Osmania University, the nerve centre of the Telangana agitation. They said a rally would also be taken out after the meeting. The meeting and rally could be crucial as a similar call for a march to the assembly Dec 10 coupled with a ‘fast unto death’ by Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao forced the central government to announce that the process for formation of Telangana state would be initiated. After the protests and mass resignations of legislators from coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions, the government made a second statement Dec 23 underlining the need for consultations on the issue. As the latest statement is seen as u-turn by the central government, the agitation resumed in Telangana, which comprises 10 districts including Hyderabad. Meanwhile, Congress leader and former union minister G. Venkatswamy visited the Osmania University campus to express solidarity with students who are on an indefinite hunger strike. He said the Congress alone was capable of delivering a Telangana state. The hunger strike by the university students entered the fourth day Sunday. Tension prevailed at the campus late Saturday as police shifted a student to hospital after his condition deteriorated. Some students tried to resist the police. Rallies, demonstrations and road blockades with sporadic incidents of violence continued in the region as the all-party Joint Action Committee (JAC) held a key meeting here to decide the future course of action. The JAC will consider a proposal by TRS to call an indefinite shutdown from Tuesday if the government failed to announce that it was initiating the process for formation of Telangana by Monday. Meanwhile, Pro-Telangana activists on Sunday attacked the office of Geeta Arts, a production firm owned by well-known film producer Allu Arvind, who is also the general secretary of K Chiranjeevi’s Praja Rajyam Party (PRP). Raising slogans of “Jai Telangana”, a group of protesters attacked the office at the posh Jubilee Hills and hoisted a banner of ‘Telangana Youth Joint Action Committee’ on it. Police reached the scene and arrested the protesters. The latest attack has heightened security concerns in the film industry, dominated by coastal Andhra region. Police said the protesters had come from Mahabubnagar district. A furious Allu Arvind, brother-in-law of actor-turned politician Chiranjeevi, said it was the responsibility of all political parties to ensure that the Telangana agitation does not spark a war with people of other regions settled in Hyderabad. Allu Arvind is also the general secretary of PRP floated by Chiranjeevi. The actor’s u-turn on the Telangana issue has angered pro-Telangana groups. Pro-Telangana activists have not only stopped screening of films of Ram Charan Teja, son of Chiranjeevi, and Allu Arjun, son of Allu Arvind, but also attacked their film shootings.

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