Hyderabad: The Andhra Pradesh police have denied permission for a mass convention planned in Hyderabad by students and politicians campaigning for a separate Telangana state.
The students’ joint action committee at Osmania University had called Telangana supporters from across Andhra Pradesh to march to the state capital for a convention on 3 January if the Union government did not start the process of bifurcating the state by then.
The all-party Telangana joint action committee has extended its support to the students and called for a shutdown in the region on 30 December.
Analysts say the call for a march and a convention is being considered crucial as a similar call for a march to the state assembly on 10 December, coupled with an indefinite fast by Telangana Rashtra Samithi president K. Chandrasekhar Rao, eventually forced New Delhi to announce the creation of a Telangana state.
The Congress party-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government at the centre later appeared to back down from this when home minister P. Chidambaram said a political consensus was required for such a move.
No relenting: Students throw stones at policemen during a strike at the Osmania University campus in Hyderabad. Mahesh Kumar/AP
Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh’s new governor, E.S.L. Narasimhan, a former director of India’s Intelligence Bureau, took oath at Raj Bhavan in Hyderabad on Monday and met chief minister K. Rosaiah and police officers to assess the situation as the protests continued for the sixth consecutive day.
Tension prevailed at Osmania University and other campuses in the Telangana region in the early hours of Monday, with police disrupting the relay and hunger strikes by students.
Fresh batches of students resumed the relay and hunger strikes at Osmania University, the nerve centre of the separatist movement, and other universities in the Telangana region.
Osmania University students also intensified agitations on the campus against a decision by the authorities to close the hostels till 5 January.
Additional director general of police (DGP), A.K. Khan, said 30 companies of paramilitary forces and 15 additional companies of police forces from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have been deployed in and around Hyderabad.
DGP Girish Kumar, citing the attack on Telugu Desam Party leader Nagam Janardhan Reddy last week when he visited the Osmania University, said antisocial elements were joining the agitators and escalating the violence.
Members of the Congress-led state cabinet from the Telangana region, who are camping in New Delhi, said they would consider withdrawing their resignations only if the gevrenment announced a time frame for creating the new state.