HYDERABAD: Police arrested hundreds of leaders and activists of Telangana movement as a three-day rail blockade began in the region Saturday amid tension. K. Kavita, leader of Telangana Jagruti, a cultural outfit of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), became the first leader to be arrested under the Railway Act when she along with others squatted on the railway track at Moula Ali near Hyderabad. Kavita, daughter of TRS chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao, was forcibly lifted by police and shifted to Keesara police station.
Rao’s son and TRS legislator K. Taraka Rama Rao, along with scores of leaders and activists of the Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC), were arrested at Sitaphalmandi in Secunderabad when they were going to participate in the ‘rail blockade’. The TRS leader warned the government of serious consequences if it continued to use police for committing excesses on people participating in the movement.
Three MPs of ruling Congress — Ponnam Prabhakar, G. Vivek and Rajaiah — were also arrested in Karimnagar and Warangal districts when they were going to block the trains.
Dozens of other leaders, including legislators, were either kept under house arrest or were detained while they were heading towards the railway tracks.
The arrests were made across Telangana, which comprises 10 districts including Hyderabad. Over 100 protestors were arrested in Mahabubnagar district alone.
The railways have already cancelled 126 trains in the region for the three days in view of the blockade called by JAC to press the demand for a separate Telangana state.
However, the railways plan to run few trains as scheduled. At least four trains left from Secunderabad railway station Saturday morning.
The state police and the railways have warned protestors against blocking the trains, saying they would be arrested under the Railway Act. Director General of Police Dinesh Reddy has said those arrested under the act may even get life imprisonment.(IANS)