Hyderabad police on Sunday resorted to preventive arrests and imposed unprecedented security in the city, hours ahead of a massive pro-Telangana rally scheduled in Necklace Road, near Hussain Sagar Lake, in the afternoon.
Six Congress ministers and party leader Keshava Rao were place in custody for protesting at the Chief Minister's office against the arrests of the rally participants, IBN Live said.
The high security arrangements came into place as students of Osmania University began an unauthorised motorcycle rally and broke down barricades set up by police at the university campus. The students were protesting in support of the Telangana Joint Action Committee's (TJAC) demand for a separate state in Andhra Pradesh.
The state government on Friday issued permission for the rally to take place between 3 pm to 7 pm and the organizing committee promised to hold peaceful demonstrations. However, the situation remained tense and violence is expected with police taking up massive security measures in the city.
"We will be peaceful as long as the police doesn't provoke us. They shouldn't arrest us. If the government keeps their part of the promise, we will assure a peaceful rally," M Kodandaram, chaiman of TJAC, told IBN Live.
Among the measures taken by the state was the cancelling of over 40 trains to Hyderabad as well as suburban and local train services, angering the Telangana activists who see it as a move to disrupt the march by preventing people from other districts to participate in the rally.
Cinema theatres and multiplexes were also closed in Hyderabad in view of Sunday's rally.
Reports said that police officials were concerned if the rally would result in violence, as in the case of last year's 'Million March' where activists vandalised and destroyed statues of renowned Telugu legends on Tank Bund Road.
According to IANS, M Kodandaram claimed that police were continuing to round up activists coming from Telangana districts and demanded state officials to call off the arrests. Among those parties participating in the rally were Telangana Rashtra Samithi, Communist Party of India, Bharatiya Janata Party as well as many people from all walks of life.