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All parties back Telangana shutdown after student suicide
Published on 19 Jan. 2010 11:43 PM IST
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The self-immolation by a student over the delay in forming a separate Telangana state has intensified the movement as the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of students called for a shutdown Wednesday, a move backed by all political parties. The all-party JAC held an emergency meeting and decided to support the 24-hour shutdown call given by student leaders to protest the delay by the central government in initiating the process for carving out the Telangana state. The political JAC comprising the Congress party, Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) and other parties appealed to students not to get disheartened and commit suicide. The JAC also decided that all elected representatives from the region would start submitting their resignation from Wednesday. JAC convenor M. Kodandaram told reporters that the delay in announcing the process and contradictory statements being given by central leaders of the Congress party had created doubts in people’s minds, leading to suicides by students and other Telangana supporters. According to the JAC, over 30 supporters of Telangana have committed suicide during the last two months. JAC leaders, including TRS chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao, visited the Osmania University where hundreds of students continued their protest and staged a sit-in with the body of Venugopala Reddy, the student who set himself ablaze. The campus remained tense as police mobilised additional forces to prevent possible violence. The body of the MCA student of a city college was found on the campus early Tuesday. He said in his suicide note that he was ending his life as he was afraid that a Telangana state would not become a reality. He also appealed to Congress president Sonia Gandhi to help carve out Telangana. The suicide triggered angry protests by students across Telangana, comprising Hyderabad and nine other districts. Students of all universities boycotted exams, forcing the authorities to postpone them. The JAC of students have threatened to continue the sit-in on the Osmania University campus with the body of Venugopal Reddy unless the government accepted the demand for Rs.15 lakh compensation to his family. TDP leader N. Janardhan Reddy said all 39 TDP legislators from the region would press the assembly speaker to accept their resignations submitted last month. Though the JAC has set Jan 28 as the deadline for the central government to make a clear-cut announcement on Telangana, it decided that all elected representatives should start submitting resignations from Wednesday.

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