The Tom and Jerry fight between the Telangana Joint Action Committee (T-JAC) and the Police, which began to simmer 100 days ago, reached its crescendo on Saturday with the police taking to preventive arrests of multiple sections of agitators and the restrictions clamped on them with regard to the route to be taken by them. However, T-JAC convener M Kodandaram cried hoarse about the arrests. Numerous sections have drawn up plans to march towards the venue – the Necklace Road in Hyderabad.
The gun-toting policemen, in their bid to sanitise the entire state capital, virtually took over all vantage points. The police restricted the area and timing of the march from Buddha Bhavan to PV Ghat between 3 pm and 7 pm.
While TRS leader K T Rama Rao will take out the rally from Telangana Bhavan to the Necklace Road, another TRS MLA T Harish Rao would lead hoards of protesters from Clock Tower in Secunderabad. The CPI-ML New Democracy announced that it would also lead the procession from Secunderabad. National Mazdoor Union president Syed Mahmood announced that the RTC workers would take out a rally from Bus Bhavan to Necklace Road. Similarly hundreds of organizations are making a bid to go in a rally to join the march.
The toughest of all would be the contingent at the troubled Osmania University where the students’ Joint Action Committee called upon students of entire Telangana region to descend on the campus and march from Osmania University to Tank Bund. The police took a serious view of this and deployed large number of forces to control the plausibility of any law and order breakdown. The police want to strictly enforce the restrictions sans any relaxation in view of the Conference of Parties (COP-11) which would be kick-started in the City on October 1 in which over 8,000 delegates from 193 countries would take part.
Hyderabad police commissioner Anurag Sharma repeatedly asserted that the police would ensure law and order at any cost. Emboldened by the assertive tone and tenor of the DGP V Dinesh Reddy that the police are fully geared up to meet all challenges and para-military and other forces were at the beck and call of the City police, Sharma said that he the police were not taking any chances.
Meanwhile, T-JAC leaders V Srinivas Goud, Rajender Reddy, Vittal and others, who have been asserting that the march would be peaceful, are holding out veiled threats saying that the preventive arrests and the oppressive measures would only rupture the peace and tranquility. OU JAC leaders Pidamarthy Ravi and others are hell-bent on continuing the march in the route they chose.
The government on its part is trying to fire all its cylinders to somehow manage a smooth conduct of the show of strength of the Telangana protagonists. As part of this exercise, the overt efforts are being made by Telangana ministers to assure the agitators that they were all in favour of the movement and that they could convince the Chief Minister in asking the police to sanction permission for the march. However, the police have adopted a different strategy covertly: imposing preventive arrests; cancellation of public transportation facilities like trains and RTC buses from all Telangana districts, blockage of roads in the garb of Ganesh Nimajjan.
Meanwhile, the Telangana Congress MPs announced that they would participate in the march triggering a virulent response from the BJP which described that any effort by the Congress MPs and Ministers from the region to participate in the march would throw the situation out of gear.
The police categorically asserted that the permission was limited to the march on the Necklace Road only and that they did not allow any rallies officially or otherwise from any point to the venue. Home Minister said that the Government was exuding confidence that the leaders would stick to their promise of conducting the march peacefully. The government got them give it in writing that they would ensure total peace during the march. However, Prof. Kodandaram said that the JAC leaders only sought permission in writing and they did not give any promissory note to the police.
Telangana journalists, advocates, junior doctors, and activists of different genres and hues including TUF leader Vimalakka and TPF leader Gaddar and their supporters, would all descend on the tension-gripped main thoroughfares of the City. The Communist Party of India also announced that it would take part in the march.
Kodandaram said that the government was trying to prevent the agitation in all possible manner of means. He warned the ‘Andhra police’ that they could not prevent any agitation by force. He said that the government ditched the T JAC by bringing in restrictions on the march. However, the T-JAC, which was being asphyxiated with too many restrictions, would renew its agitation from the same venue. This was just the beginning.
Director-General of Police V Dinesh Reddy said that the police would continue to frisk and check the vehicles. The police did not impose any restrictions to the Railways and the RTC not to ply the vehicles. “We have not stopped any movement of trains or buses. If the restrictions are clamped by the Railways, that is their call.”
Dinesh Reddy said that the protesters should approach the City Police for permissions to take out rallies. The City police commissioner would consider them, but would surely keep the prevalent restrictions in view. He expressed confidence that Prof Kodandaram and others would ensure a smooth conduct of the march.
Meanwhile, TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao is continuing his confabulations with Ghulam Nabi Azad, Vayalar Ravi, and other Congress leaders. Information from Delhi suggests that KCR might get ‘some announcement’ from the Centre in favour of Telangana by the time the march begins or, at least, ends.