The people of Telangana on Wednesday formed a 500 kilometers-long human chain all along the National Highway number 7 from Adilabad on the northern most tip of the region to Alampur on the borders of Kurnool district, to press their demand for a separate state.
The call for this novel protest was given by the all party Telangana Joint Action Committee to send a clear message to the Central government that the people of the entire region were involved in the movement.
The chain, claimed to be the longest in the country, was formed through five districts of Adilabad, Nizamabad, Medak, Ranga Reddy, Hyderabad and Mehbubnagar.
Text: Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad
'Chain formed to send the message of unanimity'
While prominent leaders of the movement including JAC convenor Prof Kodanda Ram, N Narasimha Reddy of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi and P Srinivas Reddy of the Telugu Desam Party participated in the human chain program on the Tank Bund in the heart of Hyderabad, other leaders were participating in the program in their respective districts.
Speaking on the occasion TJAC convenor Prof Kodanda Ram said that the human chain has made it clear that there was complete unanimity among the people of the region that they want a separate state. "Nothing else is acceptable to them," he said.
'When everyone united for a cause..'
Women, youth, students, government employees and workers of different political parties and the mass organisations were participating in the human chain.
Just when the human chain was being formed, news came from Delhi that the Central government has announced that the proposed committee to go in to the demand for a separate Telangana will be headed by Justice Sri Krishna.
'Telangana committee must not be a farce'
Kodanda Ram said that the TJAC will react to the committee formation only after the government comes out with the terms of reference of the committee.
The leaders of various other political parties said that they would welcome the committee only if it is meant for preparing the roadmap for Telangana state.
A show of strength and commitment
"But if it is going to seek the opinions of the leaders of coastal Andhra, it will be a waste of time. Because they have already made it clear that they were against Telangana state and for united Andhra Pradesh," said TRS leader and former minister N Narasimha Reddy.
Pocharam Srinivas Reddy of TDP said that he hoped that the committee will only deal with the issues connected with the formation of Telangana state and will complete its work within a set frame of time. "If it is meant for putting Telangana in cold storage, we will not accept it," he said.
'Won't settle for anything else'
M Lakshmaiah, another member of JAC, said that there was no need for such a committee as the Union home minister P Chidambaram had already announced on December 9 that the process for the formation of Telangana had started.
"If the committee means backtracking on that promise, we will not accept it," he said.