Hyderabad, Jan 27 (IANS) A day before the central government's own deadline to announce a decision on Telangana issue ends, hundreds of people demanding a separate state gathered Sunday after police granted permission to the Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) to hold demonstration in the city.
Amid drum beats and slogans of 'Jai Telangana', people in large numbers gathered at Indira Park in the heart of the city for two-day protest 'Samara deeksha'.
JAC convenor M. Kodandaram described the permission for the rally as a victory of Telangana people. He demanded that the central government announce a decision for formation of Telangana state.
Protestors belonging to the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), Communist Party of India (CPI), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and other political and non-political organisations and students were reaching Indira Park to stage their demonstation.
After arrests of Telangana leaders and activists, police granted permission for the gathering with certain conditions. JAC can stage protests at Indira Park till Monday evening and the organisers have been directed to ensure peace.
The permission came after legislative council member and eminent academician Chukkah Ramaiah, revolutionary balladeer Gadar and others held talks with state Home Minister Sabita Indra Reddy and Police Commissioner Anurag Sharma.
Ramaiah said Telangana supporters in large numbers would participate in the protest. He also demanded release of all leaders and activists arrested in Hyderabad and other parts of Telangana.
Police had earlier refused permission for 36-hour protest called by the JAC to press the demand that the central government make an announcement on Telangana by Monday. With police finally giving them permission, the JAC, TRS and BJP leaders who had launched the protest at various places in the city reached Indira Park.
However, BJP state president Kishan Reddy and other leaders were arrested by police when they took out a rally from the party office to Indira Park. Earlier, dozens of JAC leaders were arrested at JAC office and near the state assembly for defying the police ban.
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. The sub-regional party termed the police action "undemocratic and repressive". Meanwhile, dozens of students were also arrested when they tried to march towards Raj Bhavan to lay siege to it.
Police stopped the students at Khairatabad crossroads as they were heading towards the official residence of the governor.
Activists of Telangana Malamahandu were also arrested when they tried to stage a protest at the chief minister's camp office at Begumpet.
Osmania University was rocked by violent protest as students tried 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 the university campus and used teargas shells to prevent students from coming out. Tension prevailed on the campus as the police and paramilitary forces swung into action to disperse students pelting stones at them.
Student leaders alleged that a few students were injured in police baton charge.
Police stopped students who were trying to take out a bike rally to Raj Bhavan, 10 km from the campus. There was heated argument between student leaders and police officers.
Osmania University has witnessed many violent demonstrations for separate state during last three years.