Hyderabad, Mar 21: Activists of political parties, which have been agitating for the state of Telangana and demanding that it be carved out of Andhra Pradesh, tried on Thursday to block the National Highway 7 that connects Hyderabad to Bangalore.
The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC) and other pro-Telangana outfits have called for a 'Sadak Bandh'. The aim is to put pressure on the Congress-led governments at the Centre and the state to accept their demand for a separate state.
On Thursday morning, the leaders of BJP, TRS and TJAC squatted on different sections of NH-7. The road blockade was mainly attempted between Alampur in Mahbubnagar district and Shamshabad in Rangareddy district. The protesters also stopped several vehicles in Kurnool district while they were proceeding from the Rayalaseema region to Telangana.
With a view to facilitating normal traffic on the highway, the police removed the protesters and took around 500 of them into preventive custody.
Among those detained include TRS leader K Tarak Rama Rao, son of party president K Chandrasekhar Rao, and TJAC chairman M Kodandaram. TRS legislators Pocharam Srinivas Reddy, Swami Goud, Harish Rao and Etala Rajender were also kept in detention for a brief while.
Chandrasekhar Rao, who is attending the Budget Session of Parliament at present, condemned the arrests. The Mahbubnagar MP stressed that the police must immediately release all the detainees.
According to police officials, the parties and organisations which are supporting the 'Sadak Bandh' were well aware that the authorities have not given permission for the stir and yet they staged the protest.
D Nagendra Kumar, Superintendent of Police in Mahbubnagar district, said that the protesters were detained for obstructing traffic because they tried to stop vehicles. Noting that the protests have ben peaceful so far, the SP added that the situation is under control.