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Telangana protests hit Andhra
Published on 5 Jan. 2010 11:02 PM IST
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Transport services across Andhra Pradesh were hit Tuesday as supporters and opponents of a separate Telangana state stopped trains and buses even as an all-party meeting on the Telangana issue took place in New Delhi. Railway authorities cancelled 89 trains as a precaution while state-owned Road Transport Corp (RTC) partially suspended bus services. The rail and road blockade in Telangana on one side and the rail blockade in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema on the other coincides with the meeting in the national capital. Police arrested a large number of protesters, including leaders of political parties and student groups resorting to transport blockades in the three regions. Dozens of trains were stopped by anti-Telangana protesters in Kadapa district of Rayalaseema and in Guntur and Krishna districts of coastal Andhra. A Joint Action Committee (JAC) of political parties and student groups have called for ‘rail roko’ to protest the talks convened by Home Minister P. Chidambaram. Protesters in Guntur district stopped the Thiruvananthapuram-New Delhi Kerala Express and Macherla Express. Police said rail blockades were being held in almost all railway stations in the district. The usually busy Vijayawada railway station wore a deserted look Tuesday as protesters stopped trains while railway authorities cancelled 14 trains passing through the city. In Kadapa district, anti-Telangana protesters stopped Venkatadri, Rayalaseema and Jayanti Express trains. In Anantapur, the Guntakul-Hindupur train was detained. A shutdown was observed in Andhra and Rayalaseema regions Monday to protest against the Telangana talks. An undeclared shutdown is being observed in Telangana region as pro-Telangana groups resorted to road and rail blockades. Shops and business establishments remained closed in districts like Adilabad and Nizamabad. Educational institutions were also closed in parts of Hyderabad and majority of nine other districts of Telangana. The blockade was called by the JAC of students fighting for a separate Telangana state. The JAC is protesting the arrests of several students on Sunday. The police prevented the students from attending the JAC meeting at Osmania University here. At Kazipet junction in Warangal district, protesters stopped the Gorakhpur Express. Three passenger and three express trains were also detained at Vikarabad in Ranga Reddy district near here. In Nalgonda district, protesters blocked vehicular traffic on Hyderabad-Vijayawada national highway (NH 9). The South Central Railway (SCR) has announced the cancellation of 89 trains in view of the “rail roko” protest by various groups. The cancelled trains include 63 MMTS and local trains in Hyderabad. The authorities have advised passengers boarding long distance trains to carry lots of food and water with them.

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