Train services across the Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh came to a standstill on Saturday, following the 36-hour ‘rail roko’ call given by the Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC), as a part of the ‘Sakal Janula Samme’ (general strike by all sections) over the demand of a separate statehood of Telangana.
Activists of Pro-Telangana parties, including the Telangana Rashtriya Samiti and the BJP, staged demonstrations and squatted on the tracks at various railway stations in Telangana districts and Hyderabad. Travellers had a harrowing time, with the South Central Railway cancelling 55 express trains and 222 MMTS services.
Commuters’ woes were further compounded as the state transport services are already affected by the general strike. District bus-services are the worst-affected, even as very few city buses are plying in Hyderabad. Secunderabad, Kachiguda and Nampally railway stations here wore a deserted look.
“In view of the ‘rail roko’ protest, passenger train services have been cancelled. Even as there have been reports of stoppage of goods trains at some places in Telangana region, the overall situation, so far, is peaceful,” said V S K Kaumudi, inspector-general, Government Railway Police. Additional forces, including state police personnel, had been deployed to protect railway property, he said.
The general strike demanding a separate state entered the 13th day on Saturday.