Andhra Pradesh govt buckles to allow 'samara deeksha' protest

Telengana protest

Pro-Telangana activists today launched a 36-hour 'samara deeksha' (protest programme) to mount pressure on government to concede to their statehood demand after the state government granted them permission a day after police red flagged the agitation.

Earlier, scores of pro-Telangna leaders and activists, including Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) MLA K T Rama Rao and others, were taken into custody at different places when they attempted to march towards the protest venue - Indira Park.

"Permission has been granted to them (activists) to hold protest till 6 pm tomorrow," a senior police officer told PTI.

The state government gave in to the demand of agitators today even though police yesterday denied the permission fearing the possibility of anti-social elements sneaking into the 'deeksha' camp.

MLC Chukka Ramaiah and balladeer Gaddar among other statehood supporters met Andhra Pradesh Home Minister Sabitha Reddy seeking permission to organise the 'samara deeksha' and assured her that the agitation would be peaceful.

On the Home Minister's direction, the activists met Hyderabad police commissioner Anurag Sharma and put forth their demand, sources said.

After permission was granted, a large number of statehood supporters, along with T-JAC Chairman M Kodandaram and leaders of different Telangana groups, BJP and CPI, assembled at the Indira Park.

Telangana MLAs and MLCs, holding a dharna in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue in Andhra Pradesh Assembly premises against police for denying permission, proceeded towards Indira Park, to participate in 'samara deeksha'.

The call for fresh protests was given by T-JAC to take the separate statehood demand forward even as deliberations are on at the highest level in Congress to resolve the vexed issue.

Meanwhile, tension prevailed on the Osmania University (OU) campus when a group of pro-Telangana students pelted police with stones when they were prevented from taking out a rally towards Raj Bhavan.

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