Hyderabad: Normal life came to a standstill in the Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh Saturday in response to a day-long shutdown call by Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) to protest the central government's "delaying tactics" over separate statehood for the region.
Public transport service was paralysed while shops, business establishments and educational institutions remained closed in most parts of the region, officials said.
Unsatisfied with the outcome of an all-party meeting on the Telangana issue in Delhi Friday, TRS called the shutdown.
The party says it does not believe in Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde's assurance that the central government would take a decision on the issue in a month.
The Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC), comprising of various pro-Telangana groups, is also supporting the shutdown.
While the shutdown was partial in Hyderabad, it was near total in nine other districts.
Services of state-owned Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corp (APSRTC) in the region came to a halt with employees' union affiliated to TRS staying away from duties.
In Hyderabad, APSRTC was running only partial city services. The usually busy Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station in Hyderabad and Jubliee Bus Station in Secunderabad wore a deserted look as all bus services from and to the districts in Telangana as well as Andhra and Rayalseema regions were cancelled.
APSRTC employees in some towns locked bus depots to prevent authorities from taking out the buses. In other places, activists of TRS and other pro-Telangana groups supporting the shutdown staged a sit-in outside the depots.
Police arrested dozens of TRS leaders and workers in Karimnagar, Warangal, Adilabad, Nizamabad, Medak and other districts.
TRS leader Harish Rao and his supporters were arrested at Jubliee Station in Secunderabad early Saturday when they tried to stop buses.
Commuters in some parts of Hyderabad and on the outskirts faced inconvenience as many city transport services were off the roads. A section of autorickshaw drivers also participated the strike.
While most of the schools and colleges declared a holiday as a precautionary measure, shops and businesses were open.
The shutdown also had no impact on the work in IT companies here. The cabs carrying IT employees plied as usual to Hitec City and Gachibowli -- the two major IT clusters housing national and multinational software giants.