NEW DELHI (AFP) - India had announced on Thursday that it planned to create the countrys 29th state, after a hunger strike by a regional leader and escalating protests from supporters. Home Minister P. Chidam-baram said the government would begin work to found the separate state of Telangana, which will be carved out of Andhra Pradesh in the southeast. The process of forming the state of Telangana will be initiated, Chidambaram told reporters. Since the partition of British-ruled India in 1947, various separatist and state movements have raged across the vast nation. Three new states were created in 2000, when Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh were divided to give rise to Jharkhand, Chhat-tisgarh and Uttarakhand. Violent separatist insurgencies also cause regular unrest in Kashmir, Assam and Nagaland. The proposed birth of Telangana, which covers much of Andhra Pradeshs poor tribal belt, follows an 11-day hunger strike by K. Chandrasekhar Rao, chief of the main party campaigning for the new state. His deteriorating health sparked violent student protests in the region over the past week. We are concerned about the health of K. Chandrasekhar Rao. We request him to withdraw his fast immediately. We also appeal to all students to withdraw their agitation to help restore normalcy, Chidambaram said. In the Andhra Pradesh state capital Hyderabad-which may become part of Telangana-Rao expressed thanks from his hospital bed. A separate Telangana state has been a long-standing demand of many locals who allege government neglect of the drought-prone, deprived region. But its creation is expected to take years with approval required from both the Andhra Pradesh state assembly and Indias national parliament. Formed in 1956, Andhra Pradesh is Indias fifth largest state in terms of territory and sends 42 MPs to Indias 543-member parliament. Agriculture has been the states economic mainstay but in recent years Hyderabad has emerged as an information-technology hub, earning it the nickname Cyberabad. India comprises 28 states and seven federally administered territories, which include the capital region New Delhi.