Hyderbad: A general strike by activists campaigning for statehood to the Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh entered its third week on Tuesday with industrial units in and around the state capital suspending production for a second day.
The two-day factory shutdown, called as part of the strike, resulted in a loss of at least Rs1,000 crore to industry, said V.S. Raju, president of the Federation of Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry. In a telephone interview, Raju said the strike by factory workers had been “total,” with the participation of all industrial units - big, medium and small.
Public buses have stayed off the roads in the 10 districts comprising Telangana since 13 September, the day the indefinite general strike went under way, educational institutions been closed and administrative work disrupted.
The Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC), an umbrella body of pro-statehood groups, is organizing the strike to stir the state and Central governments to act on its demand for the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh and creation of a Telangana state.
More pain awaits the region in the days ahead. The TJAC has outlined a programme of protests including a Hyderabad bandh (shutdown) on Friday and a three-day train stoppage starting on 9 October.
Telangana activists have spurned calls by Andhra Pradesh chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy to end the strike and return to work. The sakala janula samme (strike by all sections) is the longest strike called as part of the Telangana agitation, which escalated at the end of 2009.