Hyderabad under security blanket to tackle student protest

A heavy security blanket was thrown across the city on Saturday as students began their march to lay siege to the Andhra Pradesh Assembly in support of separate Telangana state.

Over 20,000 police personnel, including para-military and Rapid Action Force (RAF), besides 9,000 city police personnel, were deployed on various roads leading to the Assembly to thwart any attempt of the students to lay siege.

Agitating students affiliated to Telangana Students Joint Action Committee and Osmania University Students Joint Action Committee started their ‘Chalo Assembly’ from Osmania University campus to Assembly demanding resignation of MLAs of Congress and TDP party from the Telangana region in support of their demand.

In the about nine-km long route between Osmania University and the Assembly, a total of 100 check-posts were set up under nine police station limits to keep a watch on the movement of Telangana students rally.

The students began the rally from Osmania University but heavily-guarded police stopped them on Shivam Road near Vidyanagar, following which they sat on the road raising slogans in support of Telangana and against the police.

As per the strategy, a stretch of three km area surrounding the Assembly building was heavily barricaded using barbed wires and even pedestrians were barred from going towards that direction.

Police have already declared the march as illegal and imposed prohibitory orders under section 144 CrPC in the city banning any kind of assembly of persons, rallies and processions till February 25.

In addition to heavy deployment of police personnel, the city police have imposed massive traffic restrictions on the main roads leading to the Assembly and also closed flyovers.

With the main roads wearing a deserted look, traffic came to a standstill on lanes and bylanes causing inconvenience to the common man.

Tension prevailed at the Nizam college near the Assembly after police closed its gates and prevented the students from taking out any rally.

Hyderabad Police Commissioner A K Khan told reporters that the traffic restrictions would be eased out by evening.

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