Hyderabad, Feb 17 (IANS) The non-cooperation movement in the Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh began Thursday to press for introduction of a bill in parliament for a separate state of Telangana.
Over 300,000 government employees are participating in the indefinite protest called by Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC), comprising Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and other groups fighting for a separate state.
The main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and Communist Party of India (CPI), which are not part of JAC have also declared their support to the movement.
The protest was expected to bring administration to a standstill as employees in government offices, corporations, municipalities and other state-owned units have joined the movement. They will attend offices but will not work and will not follow the orders of their superiors hailing from Andhra and Rayalaseema regions of the state, organisers of the protest action said.
The employees have rejected the state government’s appeal to stay away from the agitation and said they would not be deterred by use of the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA).
Teachers, lawyers and students have also announced their participation in the movement to mount pressure on the government.
JAC had appealed to people not to buy tickets while travelling in the state-owned Road Transport Corporation buses and not to pay taxes and utility charges.
TRS legislator K. Tarakarama Rao formally launched the movement in Hyderabad by travelling in the RTC bus from Khairatabad to the state assembly building along with other TRS legislators and leaders.
The people of Telangana want immediate steps for separate Telangana state and this movement will force the government, Rao told reporters.
Police arrested dozens of TRS workers and Telangana supporters for travelling without tickets in RTC buses in Medak and Adilabad districts.