HYDERABAD: Police Tuesday arrested Congress MP from Vijayawada L. Rajagopal and Telangana leaders from the office of the transport commissioner here to avert a clash.
Tension grew as leaders of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), Congress MP Madhu Goud Yaskhi and state legislator Vishnuvardhan rushed to the office after they learnt that Rajagopal had reached there to call on the official who was attacked by Telangana activists a day earlier.
TRS legislator Harish Rao and others gate-crashed into the premises of Road Transport Authority and entered into heated argument with police and other officials for allowing Rajagopal inside the office.
Harish Rao and another TRS legislator K. Eshwar received minor injuries in the jostling with police, eyewitnesses said.
Acting swiftly, police arrested Rajagopal and shifted him from there, averting a clash with Telangana leaders.
Police later also arrested Yaskhi, Harish Rao, and Telangana employees’ leader Swami Goud.
Rajagaopal, a MP from the coastal Andhra region and opposed to the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, was also arrested in the past in Hyderabad for staging protests against the demand for Telangana state.
Later, tension mounted at Jubliee Hills police station, where Rajagopal was kept. Lawyers and activists fighting for separate Telangana state gathered outside the police station and some of them even tried to barge in. They were raising slogans against the MP for creating trouble and demanded that he be sent back to Vijayawada.
Police arrested dozens of Telangana supporters to control the situation.
Protesting the arrest of Rajagopal, a group fighting to keep the state united, called for shutdown in Vijayawada Wednesday.
As the word spread about the MP’s arrest in Hyderabad, his followers and Congress activists came on to the streets in Vijayawada and demanded his release. The protesters raised slogans against the groups fighting for separate Telangana state.
Police later released Rajagaopal, TRS and Congress leaders of Telangana.
Talking to reporters after his release, Rajagopal blamed TRS chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao and his family members for creating divisions among people and instigating them in the name of Telangana. He urged people of Telangana not be misled by TRS.
Harish Rao and other TRS leaders were again arrested by police at the Mint Compound when they went there to show solidarity with Telangana employees. Police baton-charged the protestors.
Meanwhile, the "people’s strike" for a separate Telangana state continued for the 15th day Monday. The buses of state-owned Road Transport Corporation (RTC) remained off the roads in Hyderabad and nine other districts of the region for the eighth day.
The educational institutions in the region have now remained closed for over two weeks. The strike by government employees has paralysed the administration. It has also affected coal production in state-owned mines and the electricity generation in thermal power stations.(IANS)