Hyderabad: TRS leaders were arrested here on Sunday for defying police ban to stage a protest demanding separate statehood to Telangana.
Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) legislator K. Tarakarama Rao and his supporters were arrested near the office of Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) as they were gathering there to proceed towards Indira Park, the venue of 36-hour protest.
Tarakarama Rao, son of TRS chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao, and others were bodily lifted into the waiting police vehicles.
The TRS leader termed the police action "undemocratic and repressive".
TRS politburo member Swami Goud was also arrested when he reached Gun Park near state assembly along with his supporters. They were planning to take out a rally to Indira Park.
Several leaders of JAC were taken into custody by the police in different parts of the city.
TRS legislators launched a protest at the statue of Mahatma Gandhi in the assembly premises when the police stopped them from marching to the protest venue.
Party leader E. Rajender alleged that police arrested thousands of Telangana activists across the region to foil the protest. He accused the government of bias.
"The government is allowing meetings in Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and Andhra) but suppressing even peaceful protest in Telangana," he said.
The police also took into custody women protestors reaching Indira Park.
Meanwhile, dozens of students were also arrested when they tried to march towards Raj Bhavan to lay siege.
Police stopped the students at Khairatabad crossroads as they were heading towards the official residence of the governor.
Earlier in the day, tension prevailed in Hyderabad as Telangana JAC was determined to defy the police ban to launch 36-hour protest seeking separate statehood to Telangana.
Police had sealed all routes leading to Indira Park in the heart of the city, where Joint Action Committee (JAC) will be launching the protest later in the day despite police refusing permission for the same.
Police had erected barricades and barbed wires on roads surrounding the park to prevent protestors from gathering there.
Policemen and paramilitary forces were deployed in large numbers to stop the protest.
Vehicles are also being checked at the entry points into the city to prevent protestors coming from various parts of Telangana.
JAC, which comprises various parties fighting for Telangana state, has called the protest 'samara deeksha' to demand the centre to make an announcement on Telangana issue by Monday as promised by Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde last month.
JAC leaders has alleged that their leaders were either arrested or kept under house arrest in Telangana districts.
Police arrested the activists of TRS and other parties in Warangal, Nizamabad, Medak, Karimnagar, Adilabad and other districts when they were heading for Hyderabad.
A tense atmosphere is also prevailing at Osmania University (OU) in Hyderabad where students plan to take out a rally and lay siege to Raj Bhavan to demand Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan's resignation.Police sealed the main gate at OU campus to prevent students from coming out.