Telangana protesters torch buses, railway counter


Hyderabad : The ongoing movement for a separate Telangana state appears to be taking a violent turn with suspected protesters allegedly setting afire two private buses and the booking counter of a railway station in separate incidents in Andhra Pradesh, police said.

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One Volvo bus was completely destroyed after it was torched by unidentified people around 1 a.m. Wednesday near Jamia Osmania railway station here, they said.

The vehicle belonging to a private operator used to carry employees of a software company, the bus driver said.

In another incident around the same time, suspected Telangana activists set afire a booking counter of Sitaphalmandi railway station. The attackers fled before police reached the scene.

Both the attacks were carried out near Osmania University, which has been witnessing massive protests by students for separate Telangana state. The protesters had earlier targeted Jamia Osmania railway station.

In another incident, unidentified people torched a private bus in Nalgonda district after forcing the passengers to get down. The bus was going to Vijayawada from Hyderabad.

Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC), which is spearheading the movement, has already threatened to stop buses being plied between Hyderabad and Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and Andhra regions).

JAC leaders had warned the government that if the buses were not stopped from plying, they would not be responsible for the consequences.

State-owned Road Transport Corporation (RTC) buses have remained off the roads in Telangana for 10 days as RTC employees joined the general strike for separate state.

However, JAC alleged that authorities were still operating buses between Hyderabad and Seemandhra.