Strike to demand new state paralyzes south India

A two-day strike triggered by demands for the creation of a new state in southern India has closed shops and businesses and paralyzed public transport in the region.

Tuesday's strike comes after more than a dozen federal lawmakers resigned from Parliament to press their demand that a new state of Telangana be carved out from Andhra Pradesh state.

Supporters say the area in the northern part of the state is underdeveloped and ignored by powerful politicians from southern Andhra Pradesh. Similar demands have erupted since the 1950s.

Police and paramilitary troops patrolled the streets in state capital Hyderabad but there are no reports of violence. Authorities have banned all public gatherings and rallies for a week.

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