Normal life was paralysed across Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh on Thursday as the 48-hour bandh, called by the Telangana Rashtra Samiti and other parties to protest the Centre's decision to hold further consultations on the statehood issue, began with violence breaking out at some places.
The shutdown call had an immediate impact as students and other Telangana supporters came on to the streets and resorted to stone pelting on buses and shops in Hyderabad and other Telangana districts.
Violence broke out in Hyderabad, Warangal and other places in the region within hours of the Centre's announcement as the police resorted to baton-charge to disperse angry crowds of protesters. In the state capital, several petrol pumps were shut down soon after TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao and other Telangana leaders gave the bandh call. Long queues were witnessed at the few petrol stations that remained open.
The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation suspended services in the city and other Telangana districts. A large number of commuters were stranded in Hyderabad as the city buses run by APSRTC remained off the roads.
Incidents of buses and other vehicles being burnt were reported from several places in the city since late Wednesday night after the shutdown began. The Centre on Wednesday night said there was a need to hold wide ranging consultations on the Telangana issue with all political parties and groups in the state.
TRS activists and other Telangana supporters plan to hold protests during the day. The Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party has also called for a shutdown today to protest the Centre's 'U-turn' on Telangana.
TRS, a section of Congress leaders from Telangana and other pro-Telangana outfits will meet later in the day to chalk out their future course of action.