Another shutdown on Wednesday in Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh called by a student group, demanding jobs for locals in the police department here, brought normal life to a halt.
Buses of state-owned Andhra Pradesh Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) went off the roads. Schools, colleges and universities remained shut while shops and business establishments also downed shutters in the ten districts of Telangana, which include Hyderabad.
The day-long shutdown has been called by Telangana Students Joint Action Committee demanding deletion of clause 14(F) from Presidential Order, which treats Hyderabad as a free zone. This means that candidates from Andhra and Rayalaseema regions are also eligible to be recruited in police department in Hyderabad.
Commuters were stranded at bus stations across the region as APSRTC authorities suspended bus services. The corporation, however, is operating city bus services in twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad.
As Telangana political Joint Action Committee (JAC) is backing the shutdown, activists of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and other parties took to streets to enforce the shutdown.
All educational institutions declared a holiday here as petrol bunks and cinema theatres remained shut. Only a few private vehicles were seen plying on the roads.
Police here imposed prohibitory orders, banning assembly of five or more people, and warned the protestors against forcibly enforcing the shutdown.
Thousands of policemen and about 40 companies of central paramilitary forces were deployed as part of the massive security.
Two-day shutdown July 5 and 6 and another strike July 22, called by JAC to demand separate Telangana state, had badly hit regular life.
Though Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA) Tuesday decided to recommend the president to delete the clause, the students’ group went ahead with the shutdown saying they would continue the protest till the president deletes it.
Telangana groups are also demanding that the state government defer the written test for recruitment of sub-inspectors of police, scheduled to be held Aug 13 and 14, till the clause is deleted.
Under this clause of Presidential Order, 1975, the Supreme Court in 2009 had declared Hyderabad a free zone. Telangana groups, fighting for separate statehood to the region, have since been demanding its deletion.
CCPA decided to recommend the deletion of the clause after the state government informed the centre that passing a fresh resolution in the assembly in this regard is impossible in the prevailing surcharged atmosphere.
The state assembly had passed a resolution last year, urging the centre to delete the controversial clause but the centre had last week asked the state government to pass a fresh resolution. Economic Times