Telangana stir: TRS, Cong leaders held

Hyderabad: Several pro-Telangana leaders, including elected representatives of TRS and ruling Congress, were taken into custody today as the three-day `rail roko` agitation began in the region in support of the statehood demand.

Among those taken into preventive custody were Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) President K Chandrasekhar Rao`s son and MLA K T Rama Rao and his daughter K Kavitha, who is President of Telangana Jagruti, a cultural outfit of TRS. Police thwarted attempts by Rama Rao and his supporters to lay siege to the residence of Home Minister Sabita Indra Reddy, while Kavita was taken into custody for squatting on railway track at Moula Ali Station here.

Medak MP Vijay Shanti was detained near Lakadi-ka-Pul station here while Karimnagar Congress MP Ponnam Prabhakar and ex-Minister Jeevan Reddy were detained in Karimnagar district. Congress MP S Rajaiah was taken into custody in Warangal. Police also took into custody scores of protesters, who squatted on rail tracks in different districts of the region and raised slogans in support of Telangana.

As a precautionary measure, the South Central Railways (SCR) has announced cancellation of as many 124 passenger trains and diverted/rescheduled some others, including local trains, passing through Telangana, already crippled due to the month-long strike by Government employees.Andhra Pradesh Police have made elaborate security arrangements to thwart attempts by Telangana supporters to disrupt rail services. Central paramilitary forces have been deployed in the state capital and all Telangana districts.

Telangana-Joint Action Committee (T-JAC), consisting of some political parties and people`s organisations, has called for a rail blockade from today to October 17 to press for statehood to the region.