Hyderabad: The Telangana region of the southern state of Andhra Pradesh remained shut for the second day on Wednesday in response to the 48-hour general strike call by the Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC).
On the other hand, talks in New Delhi between the Congress high command and ministers and legislators who resigned appear to have reached a dead end.
All efforts by the Congress leaders including Ghulam Nabi Azad, Ahmad Patel and Pranab Mukherjee to break the stalemate and persuade the Telangana leaders to withdraw their resignations seemed to have failed.
The group of Congress ministers, legislators and other leaders of Telangana were returning to Hyderabad without getting a categorical assurance from the party's central leadership.
Several Telangana Congress leaders have remained in Delhi since more than 100 MLAs and 14 MPs from the region resigned amid demands for the immediate formation of a Telangana state. Panchayati Raj Minister Jana Reddy and Rajya Sabha member Keshav Rao denied reports that MLAs and MPs were to withdraw their resignations. "There is no truth in such reports," Reddy said.
Meanwhile, the 48-hour strike called by the JAC crippled the region. Shops, businesses and schools remain closed and public transport was shut down.
Roads were deserted and bazaars remain closed in Hyderabad and across the nine districts of the region.
Two journalists hurt
Osmania University campus in Hyderabad was again rocked by violence as police and security forces thwarted an attempt by students to march from the campus to the Telangana Martyrs' Memorial near the state assembly.
As police closed the main gates of the campus to keep the students inside, they started hurling stones.
Two journalists were injured in the incident and two students were injured by rubber bullets and tear gas shell firing. The trouble continued into the night.
Tensions also rose when the police arrested the JAC chairman professor Kodanda Ram to prevent him from going to the campus.