Hyderabad, Oct 21 (IANS) Police in Telangana arrested scores of Congress leaders and workers on Monday to foil the party’s plans to lay siege to Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao’s residence in support of striking employees of Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC).
Top leaders including Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, Revanth Reddy, V. Hanumantha Rao, Ponnam Prabhakar and Mohammed Ali Shabbir were placed under house arrest.
Police resorted to arrests of leaders and activists in various parts of the state since early Monday to prevent them from heading towards Hyderabad. Several leaders were held in Hyderabad and 32 other districts.
Hundreds of policemen were deployed around Pragati Bhavan, the Chief Minister’s official residence, to stop the protestors. Barricades were erected on roads leading to Pragati Bhavan in Begumpet, causing traffic snarls in the busy area in the heart of the city.
Authorities also shut down Hyderabad Metro Rail station at Begumpet to prevent the Congress workers from reaching the area.
Police officials were also searching hotels and lodges in Begumpet and surrounding areas to check if Congress workers were staying there.
Former MP Anjan Kumar Yadav and his supporters who managed to reach near Pragati Bhavan were arrested and whisked away by the police.
As the striking employees of TSRTC and students of Osmania University are likely to reach the chief minister’s residence, police are not taking any chances.
The Congress party has called “Chalo Pragati Bhavan” to protest the government’s aadamant’ attitude over the demands of TSRTC employees, whose strike entered 17th day on Monday.
The Chief Minister has ruled out talks with the employees and declared that over 48,000 dismissed themselves by not joining the duties. The strike saw suicide by two striking employees and the death of couple of others due to cardiac arrest.
A state-wide shutdown was observed on Saturday on a call given by TSRTC employees and backed by all opposition parties.