Hyderabad: Tension prevailed at Andhra Pradesh state secretariat here Saturday as the protesting employees from Seemandhra and Telangana regions nearly came to blows.
Police officials intervened to avert a clash as protests and counter protests by the employees from Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and Andhra) and Telangana continued to rock secretariat, the seat of governance.
Police further tightened the security and mobilised additional forces to prevent any untoward incident as the employees refused to call off the protests.
While employees from Seemandhra have been staging protests almost daily to oppose the Congress Working Committee's decision to carve out a separate Telangana state, their counterparts from Telangana are also taking out rallies to pressure the central government to speed up the process for formation of separate state.
Trouble began Saturday when the rival groups tried to take out their rallies on one particular route and came face to face with each other. There was fierce slogan shouting and some of the employees indulged in pushing the rivals.
Police officials, who rushed to the secretariat, pacified the protestors. The groups later staged separate sit-ins.
Holding placards, the Seemandhra employees were raising slogans like 'Hyderabad belongs to all' and 'We want justice'.
Telangana employees on the other hand were shouting 'Hyderabad hamara hai' (Hyderabad is ours).
Offices of electricity, irrigation and some other departments have also been witnessing protests and counter protests.
Police Friday arrested two Seemandhra employees of the electricity department for an alleged attack on Telangana employees.