Page last updated at 08:10 GMT, Wednesday, 3 February 2010

India committee to assess demands for Telangana state

Student protests over the Telangana issue in Hyderabad  on Wednesday
Students have been at the forefront of the agitation

The Indian government has decided to set up a committee to look into demands for the formation of a new southern state of Telangana.

The committee is headed by an ex-chief justice of the Supreme Court of India.

Violent protests have taken place in Andhra Pradesh, the state from which it is proposed Telangana be carved out.

In December, India's government promised that the new state would be formed but later said more talks were needed. Parties are split on the issue.

In December, India's Congress party-led government announced it would allow the creation of the new state irrespective of opposition.

Congress is also in power in Andhra Pradesh.

The announcement prompted widespread protests in the state.

Opponents of the move are unhappy that Hyderabad, home to many major information technology and pharmaceutical companies, would become Telangana's new capital.

The final decision to create a new state lies with the Indian parliament, but the state assembly must pass a resolution approving the creation of Telangana.

The state legislature is sharply divided on the issue.

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