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Telangana boils; no fresh resignations
Published on 16 Feb. 2010 12:50 AM IST
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An ultimatum by the all-party Joint Action Committee (JAC) to all MPs and legislators from Telangana to resign by Monday evening failed to have any impact as no fresh resignations were submitted, even as protestors staged noisy, at times violent, protests across the region for a separate state. Assembly Speaker N. Kirankumar Reddy accepted resignations of 12 out of 15 legislators who put in their papers Sunday. The legislators include all 10 of Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) and one each from Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The speaker has not taken any decision on the resignations of two Congress party and one Praja Rajyam Party (PRP) legislators. JAC has asked all 119 legislators and 17 MPs of Telangana to quit, failing which a series of protest programmes would be launched Feb 19 culminating in their social boycott. The resignations were accepted just before the budget session of the state assembly began with the customary speech of Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan. The speech was marred by slogans of “Jai Telangana” by some ruling Congress legislators. The legislators walked out of assembly after shouting slogans. Even as the governor appealed for peace and the need to follow the Gandhian way of struggle, police cracked down on students in Osmania University and beat up journalists for the second consecutive day. Students clashed with police for the second time in less than 12 hours in the University. Protesting the police firing and use of excessive force Sunday night, the students took out a procession that turned violent. Students pelted stones on police and paramilitary forces deployed on the campus. Police hit back with firing rubber bullets and tear gas shells and baton charged students, injuring many. For the second time, police targeted media. Some media persons were severely beaten up by police who also damaged their equipment and vehicles. The police action against media evoked sharp reaction from journalists. The injured media persons reached state secretariat to lodge their protest and demanded the government book criminal cases against policemen involved. Chief Minister K. Rosaiah, who came out of his office to meet journalists, apologised to for the incident. Home Minister P. Sabita Indra Reddy said action would be taken against policemen found guilty. Meanwhile, Telangana supporters staged protest demonstrations in various districts of the region demanding the ministers and legislators resign. In Karimnagar, protestors staged protest in front of the residence of Higher Education Minister D. Sridhar Babu. They hurled rotten eggs and tomatoes at the house. Police arrested the protestors. Similar demonstrations were held outside the offices and residences of ministers in Warangal, Khammam and Medak districts. Sporadic incidents of violence during the protests were reported from various parts of Telangana. In Sangareddy town of Medak district, protestors damaged at least six buses and attacked the hotels run by businessmen from Andhra region. Several people were injured in the violence in Vikarabad town of Ranga Reddy district. Police used force to disperse protestors who damaged buses. As the deadline set by JAC came to an end, there was no word from remaining 48 legislators of Congress on quitting. G. Sukhender Reddy, one of the 12 Congress MPs from the region, ruled out resignations, saying it was not a solution to the problem. All 39 TDP legislators have decided to submit their resignations to JAC convenor M. Kodandaram and not to the speaker in an attempt to mount pressure on Congress legislators. TRS chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao and Vijayshanti have also decided to quit as MPs. All TRS MPs and legislators had resigned enmasse on the Telangana issue in 2008 but in the by-elections that followed the party could retain only two of four Lok Sabha and seven of the 16 assembly seats. In a significant development, Andhra Pradesh High Court directed police to leave Osmania university campus. The court also asked students to conduct their protests in a democratic manner. It said police should check the hostels only on the request of university authorities. The State Human Rights Commission Monday began probe into Sunday’s incidents of violence and police firing and baton charge on the campus, in which over 30 students and six journalists were injured.

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