"people's strike" in Andhra Pradesh's Telangana region for
separate statehood appears to be losing steam with public buses
returning on the roads Sunday and schools deciding to re-open
Tuesday even as train services were disrupted for a second day.
Unlike the first day of "rail blockade" when largescale arrests
were made, there were only sporadic protests in the region, which
comprises 10 districts including Hyderabad.
Police arrested about 200 people in Warangal, Nalgonda and Khammam
districts when they squatted on the tracks.
As many as 126 trains remained cancelled for the second day though
the authorities operated about 15 trains as scheduled and restored
a couple of trains cancelled earlier.
The authorities are likely to restore the train services Monday as
the Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC), which spearheads the
movement, has called for a shutdown to protest the "police
excesses" during rail blockade.
"We will observe a shutdown instead of rail roko Monday," said JAC
convenor M. Kodandaram.
The shutdown is likely to hit normal life in the region even as
buses returned on the roads Sunday after nearly a month.
Auto rickshaw drivers have also decided to go on 24-hour strike
from Sunday midnight.
Acting tough, the police Saturday arrested over 3,000 people
including 10 MPs and several legislators for participating in rail
Congress MPs Ponnam Prabhakar and S. Rajaiah were sent to judicial
custody in Karimnagar and Warangal districts.
Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) MP Vijayshanti, who was also sent
to jail Sunday morning, was later released on bail by a railway
court in Secunderabad.
TRS legislators Harish Rao and E. Rajender and dozens of others
were also sent to judicial custody.
Following appeals from parents of students, the government
teachers Sunday decided to call off their strike. Telangana
teachers' Joint Action Committee said the teachers would resume
The teachers, however, would not sign in the register and would
not take salaries as a mark of protest over the delay in formation
of a separate Telangana state.
Over 120,000 teachers in Telangana were on strike for a month as
part of the "people's strike" called by Telangana JAC.
The teachers of private schools also decided to resume their
duties. The private schools and colleges also decided to re-open
The decision came after the government threatened to de-recognize
those who failed to do so. School Education Minister K. Partha
Sarathi said that the government would wait till Tuesday in view
of the shutdown.
As many as 10,000 buses of state-owned Andhra Pradesh State Road
Transport Corp (APSRTC) returned to the roads of the Telangana
region after 28 days.
All 60,000 employees returned to work here and in nine other
districts of the region following the Saturday night decision by
their leaders to defer the strike.
The decision brought immense relief to those who travel on buses.
There had been virtually no public transport for 28 long days in
the sprawling region.
According to APSRTC, the strike caused a daily loss of Rs.7 crore.
Government employees, teachers and workers of state-owned
Singareni Collieries are on strike for the last 34 days.
Coal production was badly hit in Singareni, impacting power
generation and supply in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and
Though JAC said only APSRTC was exempted from the strike, the
decision of he teachers appear to have come as a blow to the
The management of Singareni is also scheduled to hold talks with
striking coal workers Monday. The government is hoping that its
employees and Singareni employees would also end their strike
JAC, which comprises groups fighting for separate statehood, now
plans to target ministers and legislators, especially those
belonging to the ruling Congress, for not quitting to press the
demand for separate state.
JAC is also expected to soon finalise the date for a march to
Hyderabad to keep the movement alive.