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Jan 27, 2013 at 03:58pm IST

Telangana: Cong leaders to meet in evening, Govt sources say all options open

New Delhi: Government sources on Sunday said that all options were "still open" on the issue of the Telangana separate statehood. Senior Congress leaders are expected to hold a meeting in the evening on Sunday. The meeting will be attended by Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Vayalar Ravi.

Sources said that Shinde is likely to issue a written statement after the meeting. Earlier in the day, Telangana Rashtra Samithi leader KT Rama Rao courted arrest amidst attempts to participate in the 'Samara Deeksha' protest organised by the Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC) at Indira Park. Following his arrest, the TJAC said it will continue the hunger strike.

Hyderabad Police had denied permission to organise the 36-hour 'Samara Deeksha' at Indira Park over the statehood demand. Despite the denial of permission, Rama Rao, the MLA from Sircilla, and others tried to march towards the protest venue when they were prevented by police.

Telangana MLAs gathered in front of the Gandhi statue in Andhra Pradesh Assembly premises and were holding a dharna condemning the police for denying permission. Tension also prevailed on the Osmania University campus when a group of pro-Telangana students pelted police with stones when they were prevented from taking out a rally in support of the protest towards Raj Bhavan.

Police have made elaborate security arrangements at various places in Hyderabad and other parts of Telangana region in Andhra Pradesh as a precautionary measure. Police has barricaded the routes toward Indira Park and diverted traffic at different places including Assembly.

TJAC chairman M Kodandaram had on Saturday urged the people of the region to converge in large numbers at the protest venue. The Telangana leaders were proposing to organise 'Samara Deeksha' to take the separate statehood movement forward. The Telangana activists were seeking to step up pressure on the Centre through 'Samara Deeksha' to press for a decision in favour of Telangana state.

Police had denied permission to TJAC to hold the protest as they contended possibility of anti-social elements sneaking into 'Deeksha' camp and creating a law and order problem. Police had said they had specific intelligence inputs that the protesters may resort to "violence" as was done earlier during the 'Million March' and 'Telangana March' on Necklace Road here.

With additional information from PTI