Hyderabad, Oct 22 (IANS) Leaders and activists of Telangaa Joint Action Committee were arrested Monday in Mahabubnagar district as they were heading to stop Telugu Desam Party president N. Chandrababu Naidu from entering Telangana.
Police arrested JAC convener M. Kodandaram, Swami Goud, Srinivas Goud and other leaders at Shantinagar in Mahabubnagar, about 200 km from here, when they were proceeding to Rajouli to stop Naidu's 'padyatra'.
Tension prevailed in and around Rajouli as scores of Telangana activists were taken into preventive custody by police to avert possible clash with TDP supporters.
The JAC, comprising several groups fighting for separate statehood to Telangana, had given a call for stopping Naidu's 'padyatra'. They had vowed not to allow him to enter Telangana unless he makes his stand clear on the Telangana issue.
The former chief minister entered Telangana from Kurnool district of Rayalaseema region amid tight security and protests by Telangana groups.
The TDP leaders from Telangana criticized JAC for opposing Naidu's visit. They argued that Naidu had already made his stand clear over the issue by sending a letter to the central government.
Condemning the arrests, Kodandaram described the police action as undemocratic. He said while police was providing all protection to Seemandhra (a reference to both Rayalaseema and Andhra regions) leaders entering Telangana but was preventing Telangana people from voicing protest.
Naidu, who launched his 'padyatra' in Anantapur district on Oct 2, has been interacting with farmers, women, students and other sections of people to know their problems.