Telangana was on the boil again after personal security officers of two Congress MLAs opened fire on pro-Telangana protesters injuring nine students, one of them seriously, at Mahbubabad railway station on Friday morning as a defiant Kadapa Congress MP YS Jaganmohan Reddy refused to call off his tour of Telangana, thereby provoking violence that now threatens to spiral out of control.
Telangana leaders have called for a bandh on Saturday and vowed to retaliate even as violence spread to Hyderabad, where several students of Osmania University took out a rally and burnt effigies of Jaganmohan and tried to damage public property.
As a damage-control exercise, Jaganmohan was detained from the train he was travelling in and released on a personal bail. Later, he cancelled his tour. But the defiant MP vowed to restart his tour of Telangana after a week. The Congress MP is against a separate Telangana state and is advocating united Andhra Pradesh, much to the chagrin of Telangana leaders including TRS president K Chandrasekhara Rao, who warned him to call off his tour or face consequences.
Violence erupted at the nondescript Mahbubabad railway station when Jaganmohan, defying warnings from the Congress high command and Telangana leaders not to go ahead with the tour in a charged atmosphere, was all set to arrive there to start his six-day tour of Telangana to console the families of those who allegedly committed suicide or died of shock after hearing news of YS Rajasekhara Reddy’s death last September.
Congress MLAs from Parkal and Mahububad, Konda Surekha and M Kavita, were in the waiting room of platform number one when a large group of pro-Telangana protesters started throwing stones. Tension had been building up as scores of people opposing and supporting Jaganmohan had gathered there.