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Telangana rail blockade begins

Hyderabad, Oct 15 ():  Organised by the activists of the Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC), the 3-day rail blockade began today in the region amid tension to press their demand for a separate Telangana. Hundreds of leaders and activists of Telangana movement were arrested by police.

Taraka Rama Rao and Kavita, the son-daughter duo of  TRS chief K.Chandrasekhara Rao,  along with three MPs of ruling Congress – Ponnam Prabhakar, G. Vivek and Rajaiah were arrested under the Railway Act, at  Sitaphalmandi in Secunderabad when they were going to take part in the rail blockade. Dozens of other leaders, including legislators, were either kept under house arrest or were detained while they were heading towards the railway tracks.

The railways have already cancelled 126 trains in the region for 3 days in view of the blockade called by JAC to press the demand for a separate Telangana. Hundreds of protesters were picked up from the ten districts of Telangana.

Telangana Employees’ Joint Action Committee (TEJAC) leaders have decided to attend the talks on Saturday to know the government’s views on their three demands which they consider as an ‘entry point’ for further discussions.

On the other hand, the cabinet sub-committee has decided to make a fresh appeal to the TEJAC to call off its strike. Chief Secretary Pankaj Dwivedi confirmed that the TEJAC leaders were willing to hold talks with the government. The key demands of TEJAC include withdrawal of ESMA and GO 177, lifting of all police cases booked against the striking employees and conducting an inquiry into the attack on Swami Goud at the RTA office. With no salary and prospect of losing Diwali bonus, the striking employees are getting restless.

However, the railways plan to operate few trains as per schedule. At least 4 trains left from Secunderabad railway station this morning.