Telangana on Sunday witnessed two massive public meetings organised by a Muslim organisation and students to press the demand for statehood to the region.

Speakers at both the meetings made it clear that the protests for Telangana would continue if the terms of reference of Srikrishna Committee were not favourable to formation of Telangana state.

The central government on February 3 announced a five-member committee to deliberate on a mechanism for a separate Telangana state to be carved out of Andhra Pradesh.

The move is vehemently opposed by people in the two other regions of the state – Rayalaseema and Andhra.

While Muslim group Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) held a massive public meeting here, students’ Joint Action Committee organised a meeting at Kaktiya University in Warangal town.

JIH at its meeting declared support to the demand for statehood to Telangana. Thousands of Muslims, including burqa-clad women and girls, attended the meet.

Addressing the meeting, Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao promised that Muslims would be provided 12 percent reservation in proportion to their population in the proposed Telangana state.

Even as Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), the key Muslim political party in the region is keeping mum on the issue, the JIH joined the movement for separate state by holding the meeting at Nizam College Grounds here.

The Andhra Pradesh and Orissa unit of JIH and its frontal organisations like Movement for Peace and Justice (MPJ), Students Islamic Organisation (SIO) and Girls Islamic Organisation (GIO) held the meeting attended by thousands of Muslims from Hyderabad and nine other districts of the region.

Burqa-clad women and girls in large numbers attended the meeting, addressed by leaders of various political parties and groups fighting for Telangana state.

This is the first time that a Muslim group has come out to organise a public meeting for Telangana. Various pro-Telangana Muslim organisations supported the JIH.

Addressing the meeting, Jamaat leaders said they decided to support the Telangana movement as it was a movement for rights and justice neglected ever since the region was merged with Andhra in 1956 to form Andhra Pradesh.

JIH Andhra Pradesh and Orissa zone president Malik Moatasim Khan said successive governments neglected the region in basic sectors like education, employment, irrigation and industries though many promises were made for its development at the time of merger.

He, however, said the Jamaat was for a peaceful movement and wanted lives and properties of people of all the regions to be protected.

“After seeing burqa-clad Muslim sisters coming out in such large numbers, I have no doubt that Telangana will become a reality,” revolutionary balladeer Gaddar said.

Congress MP from Nizamabad, Madhu Yashki Goud said no force could stop formation of Telangana state. Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader N. Janardhan Reddy said his party had taken a clear stand on the issue.

MIM, which has one parliamentarian and seven legislators in Hyderabad, has not spelt out its stand on the demand for Telangana state. The party said it would express its opinion during the consultation process to be launched by the government.

Muslims constitute about 13 percent of nearly 35 million population of Telangana. They are nine percent of Andhra Pradesh’s total population of about 80 million.

Meanwhile, the massive meeting at Kakatiya University in Warangal town was disrupted by a group of students. They were protesting some remarks made by Manda Krishna Madiga, a Scheduled Caste leader. Two groups clashed during the meeting forcing the organisers to end the meeting abruptly.