Telangana protesters release black balloons against PM in Hyderabad

Hyderabad, Oct.16 (ANI): Students and people released black colour balloons on Tuesday in a symbolic protest against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Hyderabad, while pressing for their demand for the creation of separate state of Telangana.

Prime Minister Singh was in the city to attend Conference of the Parties (COP 11) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), organized by the CBD Secretariat.

Telangana protesters dotted the sky with black balloons against the UPA government, which is yet to take a stand on the separate statehood issue.

Speaking to media, the spokesperson of Osmania University joint intelligence committee, Krishank, demanded Telangana, saying the Prime Minister would only be welcomed in the city if he expressed support for the formation of a separate state out of unified Andhra Pradesh.

"Prime Minister's visit to Hyderabad is not acceptable by the people of Telangana because the Telangana issue has been delayed and delayed once again without giving a clear statement. We demand from the congress party that if they have to be welcomed in Hyderabad then they should come only after giving Telangana; otherwise definitely they will see the protest from all the people and also from the students. We demand all the ministers also not to roam in Telangana unless they give Telangana," said Krishank.

The demand for the formation of separate Telangana to be carved out of southern state of Andhra Pradesh is pending for more than four decades.

Meanwhile, protesters in different areas of the city, marched the streets, shouted slogans against the government

A protester, Satish, said the government had betrayed the people of Telangana after announcing plans for the formation of the state of Telangana on December 9 and 10, 2009.

Most politicians are sharply divided over the issue.

The four-decade-old demand for Telangana, which is to be carved out of the economically less developed part of Andhra Pradesh, gathered momentum after the Congress party ruled government accepted the demand in principle.

So far, 33 Congress, Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), Praja Rajyam Party and Independent lawmakers hailing from the Telangana region have resigned from parliament and the Andhra State Assembly.

The demand for the separate state has seen violent protests and political power play, with more than 300 people killed between 1969 and 1972.

Several protests and shutdowns had brought Andhra Pradesh to a near halt in 2009 and 2010 as pro-Telangana activists persisted with their demand. (ANI)