2,000 pro-Telangana agitators in custody on 1st day of bandh

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Hyderabad, Feb 22 (PTI) Around 2,000 pro-Telanganaagitators were today taken into custody after they indulged inviolent protests on the first day of the two-day bandh calledin the region on the statehood issue, police said.

The shutdown has been called by the Telangana JointAction Committee (JAC), which comprises political parties andpeople''s organisations, to demand introduction of TelanganaBill in the ongoing budget session of Parliament.

However, the situation in the 10 Telangana districtsand the Andhra Pradesh capital was by and large peaceful, theyclaimed.

With a view to prevent disturbance and maintain lawand order, 1,978 persons were taken into custody, police said.

Some private educational institutions, hotels, shops,business establishments and petrol pumps remained closed inthe city.

In Hyderabad, stone pelting pro-Telangana studentsclashed with police on the Osmania University campus. Thein-charge Vice-Chancellor of the university D N Reddy appealedfor restraint and calm.

Police used teargas shells to disperse the studentsthrowing stones on Osmania University Police Station, DeputyCommissioner of Police (East Zone) Y Gangadhar told PTI.

At least 120 pro-Telangana activists, includingmembers of the ABVP and Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC)Convener M Kodandaram, were arrested when they took outrallies in support of the bandh, he said.

Students of the Nizam College in Basheerbagh area alsothrew stones on policemen. Sixteen protesters were taken intocustody, another police officer said. (more) PTI VVK RAO RSY

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