By Prof. S. Sreedhara Swamy
The historic 1969 Telangana Agitation for Separate Statehood continued for full one year, schools, colleges closed, they became hunger strike camps. Employees went on strike. Firings, lathi charge, teargas shells, arrests became a routine matter. Govt suppressed the information of the details of the martyrs.
All India News Bulletins and a few newspapers carried the details. They simply reported that one person killed and several others were seriously injured. No follow up news were available. It was estimated that nearly 370 people were killed, no names, no details. This state of affairs, regarding 1969 martyrs continues till to day.
The first publication – a pamphlet was issued by Telangana Praja Samithi and Students Action Committee on August 15, 1969, by Esamia Bazar unit in Hyderabad with a title “Martyrs of Telangana—A Factual Focus“. Subsequently, the same details were refined and published with a few photographs in a publication titled, “Separate Telangana—History of Struggles“ by Smt Shobha Gandhi. The details of about 35 persons were available. With great struggle, telephonic contacts, personal visits to Warangal, Kothagudem, Garla ( Khammam), some more details were gathered by me. The details of the dates of firing, etc are gathered and being shared with you.
20-01-1969 First firing on School students, Shamsabad (Vicinity of International Airport )
24-01-69 First Known Martyr Shankar, Sadasivpet, Medak Dist.
30-01-69 Firing in Gajwel, Medak Dist
01-02-69 Firing at Eagala Penta- Near Achampet, Mbnr Dist.
05-02-69 Firing at Bellampally
25-02-69 Firing at Tandur
04-04-69 Major firing at Secunderabad, Burgumahadev Hall – Turning point for the movement.
14-04-69 Firing at Morthand, NZB dist.—one died, 2 injured
22-04-69 Firing at Cherial, Warangal Dist
26-04-69 Firing at Jadcherla, MBNR Dist.
01-05-69 Mass Rally to Rajbhavan-Firings at several places enroute
02-06-69 Firing at Several places in twin cities-Services of Army had to be requisitioned
03-06-89 Anti Goondaism Day- Firing in Several Places
04-06-69 Civil War Atmosphere- Firings unabated –
PM airdashed to Hyd midnight, met leaders.
05-06-69 Firing in Chilkalguda
06-06-69 Firing in Kodangal, Mbnr Dist. And also Peddapally — Knr Dist.
16-06-69 Anti Repression Day-Firing in Several places
26-06-69 Firing at Gowliguda,Hyd
27-06-69 Firing in Secunderabad
07-07-69 Firing at Dhoolpet, Hyd
08-07-69 Firing at Warangal, and also in twin cities
05-08-69 Firing in Kothagudem, 4 students killed only two names could be obtained in a visit.
06-08-69 Firing in Secunderabad
N.B.(1) Some of the details must not have come to our notice, however personally I am and a few other friends like Dr. K Jaya Shankar, Late Anandrao Thota etc were witness to some of the firings, as we were serious activists at that time
( 2) Two students of OU Engineering College, studying III year and IV year were trapped in a fire at Jamai-Osmania Rly Station, breathing “Jai Telangana‘, on 28th March, 1969. The causes of Fire were not revealed.
The List of Martyrs with Full Details is furnished here under :