Pro-Telangana lawyers clash with TDP activists

Hyderabad: Tension prevailed here Saturday as lawyers supporting the demand for statehood to Telangana clashed with activists of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP).

Some members of Telangana Lawyers Forum were injured in the clash which took place in the Indira Park area when lawyers tried to disrupt TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu’s speech demanding that he spell out his party’s stand on the Telangana issue.

The leader of opposition was addressing TDP, CPI and CPI-M workers at a joint demonstration against the hike in fuel prices.

Raising slogans of “Jai Telangana”, the lawyers disrupted Naidu’s speech, evoking a strong reaction from his supporters. Some lawyers sustained bleeding injuries when TDP workers assaulted them.

Police arrested the protesting lawyers. Naidu and other leaders were also taken into custody for staging the sit-in.

The alleged attack by TDP workers on lawyers triggered protests in other parts of Telangana. In Nizamabad district, lawyers and pro-Telangana activists attacked the TDP office. A similar incident was also reported from Mahabubnagar district.

Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao and Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) convenor M. Kodanda Ram condemned the attack on lawyers.

“TDP leaders in Telangana should now decide whether they want to be with the people of Telangana or Chandrababu Naidu,” said Kodanda Ram blaming Naidu for the attack on lawyers.

TDP leader from Telangana and former minister Kadiam Srihari apologised to lawyers for the attack but Naidu said there was no need for it as TDP workers did not resort to violence.

Without naming the TRS, the former chief minister regretted that a party was instigating lawyers and preventing other parties from voicing their opinion in a democratic manner.

Naidu, who hails from the Ralayalaseema region of the state, continued his silence on Telangana issue while his party leaders stand divided on regional lines.

Meanwhile, the issue of price rise rocked the Andhra Pradesh state assembly, which could not transact any business Saturday. Speaker Kirankumar Reddy had to adjourn the house for the day as opposition parties stalled the proceedings demanding an immediate debate on rising prices.

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