Hyderabad: Movement of trains in the entire Telangana region came to a grinding halt due to 12-hour “Rail Roko” agitation launched by the Telangana activists on Tuesday following “Every Village on Railway Tracks” call given by the Telangana Political JAC to exert pressure on the UPA government at the Centre to introduce a Bill for Telangana State formation in the Lok Sabha.
While the agitators led by the TRS legislator from Sircilla, Mr K Tarama Rama Rao, squatted on the railway track and detained the Godavari Express near the Moula Ali Railway Station on the city outskirts, the agitators barged into the Secunderabad Railway station. The police took the Telangana Telugu Desam party MLAs into custody in this connection. Similarly, Mr Dilip Kumar, Ms Vimalakka and several others were arrested in the Nampally Railway Station.
The Telangana Political JAC convenor, Prof. M Kodandaram, participated in the Rail Roko programme at Ghatkesar on the city outskirts. Addressing the squatters, he demanded that the Centre immediately respond and introduce Telangana Bill in Lok Sabha and complete the process of carving out Telangana State. He also disclosed that they would involve all sections of people in the region
till the UPA government conceded the legitimate demand of the people of the Telangana.
The agitators in Ramachandrapuram mandal thronged the railway tracks since early morning. They squatted on the track in Tellapur village. They also removed fishplates from the railway track. Raising slogans in favour of separate Telangana State, the agitators spent time jovially by singing songs and playing games on the track.
In Nizamabad, the protestors led by the local legislator squatted on railway tracks. However, the police rushed to the spot and took the BJP MLA, Mr Endla Lakshminarayana, into custody and dispersed others. In Adilabad Railway Station, the Telangana activists expressed their protest against the Centre’s inordinate delay in tabling Telangana Bill in Parliament by squatting on the tracks.
In Medak district, the agitators sat across the railway tracks near Nyalkal area. In Musaipeta under Veldurthi mandal in the district, the senior TRS leader and Siddipet MLA, Mr T Harish Rao, led the protestors and squatted on the railway tracks. They also placed tyres on the track and set them ablaze. In Nalgonda district, the agitators stopped the Narayanadri Express near Chityal. The Telangana Jagruthi leader, Ms K Kavita led the protestors and detained a goods train at Bibinagar by squatting on the tracks.
In Khammam district, the agitators stopped a goods train near Madhira for an hour and squatted on the track.
As a precautionary measure, the South Central Railway authorities had cancelled several trains in connection with the Rail Roko stir. They announced cancellation of suburban MMTS services and passenger trains under SCR jurisdiction. On account of the agitation, the SCR authorities cancelled the Delhi-bound Andhra Pradesh Express, Shatavahana, Palnadu, Golconda, Simhapuri, Gowthami, Shirdisai and other Express trains for the day. The APSRTC had arranged special bus services for the convenience of the railway passengers alighting in the city at various points.
The protests badly hit the movement of trains between south and north India. Trains from Bengaluru, Chennai, Coimbatore and other cities to Delhi and other destinations in the north were stopped by the protesters. They also cooked and ate food, singing songs, playing games and performing all their daily chores along the tracks.
The Secunderabad railway station, one of the biggest stations in the country, wore a deserted look on Tuesday morning as SCR cancelled most of the trains. The movement of trains was badly hit at Kazipet in Warangal district, one of the busiest railway junctions.
The police were patrolling important trunk routes and have beefed up security at railway stations to prevent any untoward incident. (NSS)