Pro-Telangana media barred from PM's address

Last Updated: Tue, Oct 16, 2012 12:30 hrs

Hyderabad, Oct 16 (IANS) Reporters of pro-Telangana television channels and dailies were Tuesday not allowed to cover Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's address at the 11th meeting of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biodiversity.

Media representatives of T-News, HMTV and Telugu daily Namaste Telangana were denied access to the conference hall at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre (HICC) where the prime minister addressed the delegates.

T-News and Namaste Telangana are owned by Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao.

Though the organisers officially cited limited seating capacity as the reason for denying entry to some mediapersons, the real reason, an informed source said, was to prevent any protest during the PM's speech.

The authorities took the preventive step as Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) and some other groups demanding separate Telangana state had given a call for the protest during the prime minister's visit over the delay in making an announcement for formation of separate state.

The journalists of few media organisations staged a sit-in at the Media Centre at the conference venue, alleging that they were prevented from discharging their professional duty.

Police had made unprecedented security arrangements for the prime minister's visit in view of the threat by Telangana groups to stop his convoy and show black flags.

Some leaders gathered at Indira Park to protest the visit and released black balloons in the air. The leaders tried to march towards Begumpet airport to meet the prime minister but were prevented by police.

Police sealed off key roads in Begumpet, Banjara Hills, Jubliee Hills and Cyberabad, the IT district, causing inconvenience to the public. Schools in Cyberabad declared a holiday, while IT companies had also changed shift timings for their employees.

The prime minister, who landed at Begumpet airport in the city, reached HICC by an Indian Air Force helicopter.

After addressing the conference, he covered five kilometers by road to reach Gachibowli, another IT cluster, where he unveiled a pylon and laid the foundation stone for biodiversity park and a museum.

Manmohan Singh returned to New Delhi in the evening.

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