Hyderabad under Telangana siege

HYDERABAD: Claiming that it apprehends violence in the state capital in view of the proposed march of Osmania University students to the state Assembly on Saturday, the state government has virtually cordoned off the heart of the city where the Assembly is situated. The state budget is slated to be presented in the House in the afternoon.

By deploying over 20,000 police personnel, the state has virtually declared a curfew from 5 am to 6 pm on Saturday and effected massive traffic diversions. "It is clearly an indication of a nervous government overreacting to the plans of the Telangana agitators who have threatened to march to the Assembly. Normal life is certain to be disrupted due to the curbs and traffic restrictions and hundreds of innocent civilians put to immense hardships," one official said.

The OU students JAC on Friday night vowed to take out a rally from the Tarnaka campus to the Assembly at around 8 am. They also threatened to take out rallies in smaller groups from various undisclosed locations. Anticipating trouble, several educational institutions are likely to stay closed.

By Friday night, heavy police deployments and barricades were in place around OU campus and various strategic locations in the city including all around the Assembly. Hyderabad police commissioner A K Khan said prohibitory orders banning assembly of more than five persons is in place throughout the city on Saturday.

"Students and others from Hyderabad and other districts are cautioned not to reach or congregate in the city in view of the anticipated law and order problems. Those who violate the law will be arrested and we are also on the lookout for those who might cause trouble," the commissioner said. The OU students, however, claimed that scores of students from districts already reached the city. Apart from students from the main campus, those from Nizam College and other affiliated colleges will also converge on the Assembly, the students claimed.

AK Khan conceded that the massive bandobust will disrupt normal life. "It will be difficult for common man but budget presentation is very important and it is the duty of the police to facilitate smooth functioning of this process. So, we are left with no option but to impose these restrictions," he said.(TOI)

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