Hyderabad: Even as rail movement in the Telangana region came to a virtual standstill on Thursday as agitators demanding a separate state stopped several trains as part of a 12-hour long ‘Rail Roko’ agitation, Telangana Political Joint Action Committee convenor M Kodandaram warned the Centre to brace up for a much more intensified stir from August 1.
“If the Centre does not agree to our demand and make a statement on the separate Telangana state formation, we will intensify our agitation from August 1, this time with the active participation of all employees in the region,” Prof Kodandaram warned.
He was speaking after stopping the Delhi-Hyderabad Dakshin Express at Ghatkesar along with Bharatiya Janata Party leader Indrasena Reddy and separate statehood activists.
Prof Kodandaram demanded that the Centre immediately announce the formation of Telangana state in a time-bound manner and also sought a concrete assurance from the Centre on the separate statehood demand.
Elsewhere, raising ‘Jai Telangana’ slogans, activists belonging to almost all pro-separate statehood parties, including the Telangana Rashtra Samithi, Bharatiya Janata Party, the Telugu Desam Party, besides students and in some cases employees squatted on the railway tracks at various places, including Warangal, Karimnagar, Nizamabad, Mahabubnagar and Nalgonda districts of the region, and stopped rail movement.
Senior BJP leader and former Union minister Bandaru Dattatreya and other party leaders were taken into custody at the Secunderabad railway station here when they tried to disrupt the rail traffic.
Mr Dattatreya told media persons while being led away that the “Centre cannot suppress the Telangana agitation by arresting the protests and resorting to repressive measures. It will have to accept the separate statehood demand.”
TRS MLA D Vinay Bhaskar along with his party workers staged the rail roko in Warangal district.
The South Central Railway, anticipating the inconvenience likely to be caused to the passengers, had already announced the cancellation of 31 Express and 116 Passenger trains, partially cancelled 20 Express and 14 Passenger trains, rescheduled 23 and diverted 23 Express trains. The SCR had also cancelled all 51 DHMU (Diesel Hydraulic Multiple Unit) services in Telangana and MMTS (Multi-Modal Transport System) trains in Hyderabad and Secunderabad.
Besides this, the Railways Ministry had also issued a travel advisory for people against being careful in choosing their mode of transportation while travelling in the region.
The Tirupati-Secunderabad Narayanadri Express was stopped at Chityala in Nalgonda district, Tirupati-Secunderabad Padmavati Express and the Visakhapatnam-Hyderabad Express trains were stopped by protestors at Bibini Nagar station, while the Kakinada-Hyderabad Goutami Express was stopped up in Warangal district.
The transportation of coal from the Singareni Collieries Company Limited was also hit as goods trains were stopped at Karimnagar, Warangal and Khammam districts.(INN)