Pro-Telangana forces today pelted stones at police and employees from Andhra-Rayalaseema regions in a bid to thwart a rally organised here by AP Non-Gazetted Officers Association even as the 24-hour bandh called by the Telangana JAC disrupted life in the state capital.
Scores of pro-Telangana elements, masquerading as students, gathered clandestinely in the Nizam College hostel building adjacent to the Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium, the venue of "Save Andhra Pradesh" rally, and hurled stones at employees from Andhra-Rayalaseema regions, who were making way into the stadium. "We were quietly walking on the road leading to the stadium when suddenly we were pelted with stones. Two of my colleagues were wounded in the incident," Visweswara Rao, a government employee from Adoni in Kurnool district, said.
Police, who entered the hostel building to disperse the violent mob, were also greeted with stones. However, police in riot gear took several "outsiders" into custody and whisked them away from the hostel building, a senior police officer said. Police had to open teargas as violent Telangana elements, in the garb of students, rained stones on them.Then they tried to march from the Osmania University campus to LB Stadium to spoil the rally, police said.
Notwithstanding the appeal made by TJAC and pro-Telangana parties for calm, several miscreants virtually ran riot both at the Nizam College hostel as well as the University.
Aggravating the tense atmosphere in the city, legislators belonging to the Telangana Rashtra Samiti rushed to the Assembly in the afternoon to stage a "deeksha" at the statue of Mahatma Gandhi, protesting the discriminatory attitude of the state administration.
The TRS MLAs had a face-off with police at the Assembly when the latter tried to foil the former's plan. "This is a dark moment when our rights as legislators have been denied," TRS floor leader in the Assembly E Rajender said.
Half-a-dozen TRS MLAs then staged a dharna on the Assembly premises even as Independent MLA Nagam Janardhan Reddy, who recently joined the BJP, also joined them. Meanwhile, Telangana Gazetted Officers Association leader Devi Prasad announced that they were planning to hold a rally either in Visakhapatnam or Vijayawada in coastal Andhra in support of the state's division. "Misuse of official power and machinery in today's 'Save Andhra Pradesh' rally is glaring," he said and claimed the Telangana bandh was a "total success".