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    Telangana protests on railway tracks today

    Hyderabad: In a bid to mount pressure on the Centre on the separate statehood demand, pro-Telangana groups would organise rail blockades all over the region on Tuesday.

    Thousands of people from villages and towns would squat on railway tracks from 6 am to 6 pm on Tuesday as part of the protest named 'Palle Palle Pattala Paiki' (villages on railway tracks), Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) convener M Kodandaram told reporters on Monday.

    "We have also asked people who live in the villages all along the railway tracks to come on to the track and sit there. We have asked them to bring their cattle and bullock carts and also cook and eat on the track itself. For all practical purposes, instead of living in their homes, they live on the tracks for a day," he said.

    According to Kodandaram, the rail blockade is an attempt to send a message across to the Centre.

    He said there is no change in the 'Chalo Hyderabad' programme scheduled to be held on March 10.

    Christened 'million march to Hyderabad', the programme would see lakhs of people coming to Hyderabad and not a soul would be able to move around in the city on that day, TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao has announced two days ago.

    The JAC has earlier indicated that it might reschedule the programme on March 10 as annual examinations of intermediate students are scheduled to be held on the day.

    However, Kodandaram clarified that the 'Chalo Hyderabad' programme would be held as scheduled as the Board of Intermediate Education was ready to reschedule the examinations.

    The railway network in the region is significant as the south-bound trains from northern India have to pass via Telangana.

    Meanwhile, a release from the state DGP office said the police department is planning to make arrangements for protection of people and property.

    "Information and past experience show that there is likelihood of sabotage to railway track by removal of fish plates and by tampering or destroying signal equipment. These can result in serious accidents causing great loss to human life," the release added.

    "The district police, the railway police and the railway protection force (RPF) are jointly coordinating the arrangements for protection of life and property," it added.

    Stating that cases will be booked under the Railway Act, 1989, in addition to relevant sections of the IPC, the release said punishment under the railway act will be more rigorous for offences like stoppage of trains and squatting on railway tracks.

    DGP K Aravinda Rao urged people to desist from violence and from acts which may cause loss of human life and destruction of property.