India: Struggle to create new state of Telangana intensifies with complete shutdown

[In India, the gap between rich and poor is huge and continues to grow.  And in Andhra Pradash, the gap can be defined by the way the state’s economic, political, and cultural resources have been denied the people of the Telangana region.  In recent times, the long historic Telangana movement has sharpened its struggle for a separate state.  This week, things have intensified with a complete shutdown of rail, bus, autorickshaws, roads, and schools Various political forces are involved and have joined this massive people’s movement.  — Frontlines ed.]

Telangana stir hits rail, road services

newsxlive on Sep 23, 2011

The Telangana agitation is once again peaking. This is the 12th successive day that the agitation has been building up and the situation is heading for complete shutdown in all 10 districts including Hyderabad. Several trains passing through the region have either been cancelled or diverted for the 48-hour duration of the rail roko call given by the Telangana agitators. One by one, several services like bus, auto, schools and power have been hit.


Pro-Telangana activists sleep on railway tracks during the rail roko agitation near Hyderabad on Saturday

2-day rail blockade in Telangana begins
Indo-Asian News Service
Hyderabad, September 24, 2011

Schoolchildren raising slogans in support of separate Telangana State at Moula Ali Station in Hyderabad

Transport services in the Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh came to a halt as a two-day ‘rail blockade’ and strike by auto-rickshaws began Saturday morning, adding to the woes of people already reeling under the impact of protest by the state-owned Road Transport Corporation (RTC).

In an unprecedented situation, commuters have no access to any mode of public transport.

As over 10,000 RTC buses remained off the roads in Hyderabad and nine other districts of the region for the sixth day, all trains were cancelled for Saturday and Sunday.

500,000 autorickshaw drivers joined the people's strike

Moreover, 500,000 auto-rickshaws also joined the ‘people’s strike’ demanding a separate Telangana state. Over 60,000 three-wheelers in Hyderabad are participating in the strike.

South Central Railway (SCR) cancelled over 72 express and 264 passenger trains originating from or coming to Telangana or passing through the region.

“In view of some incidents that took place during similar protests earlier, we are not operating train services this time,” said SCR chief public relations officer K Sambasiva Rao.

Leaders and activists of the Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) squatted on railway tracks at hundreds of places across the region.

Leaders of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Communist Party of India-ML New Democracy squatted on the track at Kazipet in Warangal district, the main junction connecting south and north India.

The railways have cancelled all 222 (Multi-Modal Transport System) services or local trains in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad and 102 DHMU (Diesel Hydraulic Multiple Unit) trains in other parts of Telangana.

The SCR authorities have also short terminated, diverted and rescheduled many long-distance trains in the north-south and east-west corridors. The rail link between Hyderabad and rest of Telangana and also between the state capital and other regions of Andhra Pradesh has completely snapped.

Telangana supporters have lunch on the rail track as part of their “rail roko” programme, in Nalgonda on Saturday

All the trains between Hyderabad and destinations like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Guwahati, Patna, Rajkot and Balharshah have been cancelled.

Hundreds of policemen, personnel of railway police and central paramilitary forces were deployed at stations to protect railway property.

Secunderabad and Nampally (Hyderabad) railway stations — two of the busiest railway stations in south India — wore a deserted look.

All the trains were cancelled from Friday midnight while some long-distance trains coming to Hyderabad were stopped earlier in the day.

West Bengal, India: Tribal group calls a 24-hour shutdown to protest atrocities


Kolkata, Dec 18 (IANS) Pro-Maoist tribal group, Peoples’ Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) Saturday called for a 24-hour shutdown Monday in West Bengal’s three rebel-dominated districts to protest ‘atrocities’ of the joint security forces.

‘The shutdown on Monday has been called in Purulia, Bankura and West Midnapore districts as the common tribal people living in the areas were facing torture and harassment from the joint forces and armed cadres of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M),’ a PCAPA spokesman told IANS on phone from Lalgarh area of West Midnapore.

‘Police are also picking up our supporters and local people on false charges of being Maoists and carrying out inhuman torture on them. Earlier, the joint forces picked up and detained Muhammad Israieel. He was released just three days ago, but he cannot even stand as police had beaten him severely on his feet and legs,’ said the PCAPA spokesman, who wished to be anonymous. He added that two other people were also picked up by the police and beaten ‘mercilessly’.

‘We demand that the government and administration should stop atrocities on our people and urge people to support the shutdown,’ the spokesperson said.

–Indo-Asian-News Service