Police Arrest Dozens Calling for New Indian State

Posted July 6th, 2011 at 2:35 pm (UTC-5)
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Police in southern India arrested at least 50 people Wednesday during protests calling for the creation of a new state.

The demonstrations in the southern city of Hyderabad came as a two-day strike in the region closed shops, school and businesses and also disrupted public transit.

There were also reports that police fired tear gas to disperse stone-throwing demonstrators on a college campus in Hyderabad.

Lawmakers and activists are calling for a separate Telangana state to be carved out of the economically less developed part of the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Supporters for a Telangana state say a large part of the northern and western parts of the state have been neglected by successive governments and trail other regions in economic development.

In recent days, at least nine parliament members and dozens of state lawmakers from Andhra Pradesh have resigned to push the government in their demands for a new state.

The government has said that more consultations are needed.

Earlier this year, the Indian government released a report listing several options for resolving the dispute. One is the separation of the Telangana region as its own state, meeting the primary demand of the separatist movement. Another would be keeping Andhra Pradesh united, but granting constitutional measures to empower the Telangana region.