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Telangana march called off; 48-hour bandh called

After defying the 7 pm deadline set by the police, thousands of protesters called off Telangana march in Hyderabad on Sunday evening. But not before the Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) called for a 48-hour bandh from Monday to put pressure on the government to come to a decision on its demand for a separate state.

“We are asking for an announcement of a road map on accepting the Telangana demand. Let’s sit here as long as we can. We are not troubling anybody by sitting here,” he said, while addressing the protesters. The JAC has called for a 48-hour bandh from tomorrow.

Violent clashes broke out between pro-Telangana supporters and the police in several parts of the tension-ridden city today with the activists torching police vehicles, pelting stones and damaging rail and private property.

In a massive show of strength, thousands of protesters defied prohibitory orders and joined the ‘Telangana march’ to press their demand for a separate state.

A bandh has been called tomorrow by the Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC), spearheading the agitation. The Osmania university has postponed examinations scheduled for tomorrow.

At a late night press conferece, Police Commissioner Anurag Sharma said certain left wing extremist groups have infiltrated the movement and were suspected to be behind the violence.

He said SP (Intelligence) Rajashekhar was seriously injured in the clashes which also left an inspector and 17 constables with injuries. He said five protesters were injured.

He said 25 police vehicles were damaged of which three were torched.

He said several people including some TDP MLAs, who were staging a dharna outside the Secretariat have been taken into preventive custody.

Violating prohibitory orders, the Telangana supporters headed towards the Necklace Road at Hussain Sagar lake, the venue of the event, and clashed with security personnel on their way.

Incidents of violence were reported from the Osmania University campus, Khairatabad and the Andhra Pradesh Secretariat.

When they were stopped from passing by the Secretariat road and some other areas where prohibitory orders were in place, the protesters pelted stones and tried to remove the barricades which prompted the security personnel to lob tear gas shells after trying to chase them away.

The JAC tonight asked its supporters to stay put at the venue of the `Telangana march’ here to put more pressure on the government for announcement of separate state.

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