Telangana protesters block Vijayawada-Hyderabad highway


Hyderabad : Road transport between the Telangana and Andhra regions of Andhra Pradesh Tuesday came to a standstill with protestors, demanding a separate state of Telangana, blockading the national highway connecting the towns of Vijayawada and Hyderabad.

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Hundreds of vehicles were stranded at several places in Nalgonda district as the Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC), spearheading the Telangana movement, began a 24-hour road blockade.

Police arrested over 100 JAC leaders and activists at Nakrekal in Nalgonda district as they squatted on National Highway 9 to block vehicles coming from Vijayawada in Krishna district.

As the protesters also blocked the road at the border point between Andhra and Telangana regions, authorities diverted some vehicles through Khammam district. However, hundreds of vehicles, including buses, trucks and cars were stranded at the border.

The JAC alleged that many of its leaders had been arrested since Monday night.

This is the second consecutive day of Telangana protesters blocking vehicles coming from coastal Andhra region.

The violent protests had seen 20 private buses being damaged in Nalgonda district.

Thousands of people from Vijayawada, Visakhapatnam, Eluru, Rajahmundry, Guntur and other towns in coastal Andhra travel through the highway to reach Hyderabad.

Andhra leaders say the protests are causing severe inconvenience to people visiting their homes for Dussehra festival.

State-owned Road Transport Corporation (RTC) buses remained off the roads in Telangana for the 16th day Tuesday.

The few RTC buses plying from Andhra to Hyderabad were also cancelled. Most private operators have also suspended their services following Monday’s incidents.