Hyderabad: The day-long shutdown called by the opposition parties in Telangana over farmers’ issues on Saturday evoked partial response in the state.
The opposition parties are demanding the government to implement one-time waiver of farm loans to check the increasing number of suicides by farmers.
Bus services of state-owned Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) were affected as the leaders and workers of opposition parties staged sit-ins at bus stations and depots here and nine other districts in the state.
Shops, business establishments and educational institutions were also closed in some parts of the state.
Police arrested leaders of main opposition Congress, Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Left parties and YSR Congress Party (YSRCP).
Bus services were affected in parts of Hyderabad, Ranga Reddy, Medak, Nalgonda, Mahabubnagar, Karimnagar, Nizamabad, Warangal, Adilabad and Khammam districts. The corporation is operating buses with police protection.
A bus was damaged in an incident of stone-pelting in Musheerabad area here.
Congress party’s state chief Uttam Kumar Reddy, TDP president L. Ramna and BJP’s floor leader in assembly K. Laxman were among the top leaders arrested here when they tried to stop buses at different places in the city.
Uttam Kumar Reddy, former ministers D. Nagender and Ponnala Lakshmaiah, former MP Anjan Kumar Yadav, Communist Party of India (CPI) state secretary Narayana were also arrested at Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station (MGBS), the biggest bus station in the state.
TDP leaders Ramna, E. Dayakar Rao, Revanth Reddy and BJP’s Laxman were taken into custody at Jubliee Bus Station in Secunderabad.
Former minister and senior Congress leader Mohammed Ali Shabbir was arrested at Mehdipatnam bus station. BJP leader Indrasena Reddy was held at Dilsukhnagar bus stand.
Scores of opposition leaders and activists were arrested at bus stations in various towns since early Saturday.
The opposition parties have alleged that the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) failed to come to the rescue of distressed farmers. They claimed that over 1,400 farmers committed suicide since June last year when Telangana came into being as a separate state.
Displaying rare unity, the opposition parties called for shutdown after all their legislators were suspended from both houses of state legislature last week for stalling the proceedings over the farmers’ suicides.