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police occupy Dharna Chowk! ,Leaders go underground

police occupy Dharna Chowk! ,Leaders go underground
Highlights

Despite the police refusing permission to hold “Save Dharna Chowk” protest call on Monday, the TJAC has vowed to go ahead with the protest by reiterating its call to all the opposition parties to reach Dharna Chowk.Congress, TDP, BJP and Left-wing parties had extended their support to the “Save Dharna Chowk” programme

Hyderabad: Despite the police refusing permission to hold “Save Dharna Chowk” protest call on Monday, the TJAC has vowed to go ahead with the protest by reiterating its call to all the opposition parties to reach Dharna Chowk.Congress, TDP, BJP and Left-wing parties had extended their support to the “Save Dharna Chowk” programme. Tollywood film star Pawan Kalyan's Jana Sena Party too backed the protest. The protest is aimed at exerting pressure on the government to drop its proposal to relocate Dharna Chowk, a popular venue for democratic protests in the State capital for over a decade.

According to sources, fearing preventive arrests after being denied police permission for the protest, TJAC chairman Prof. M Kodandaram and other members on Sunday switched of their cellphones and went into hiding."Scores of TJAC activists along with workers of opposition parties will reach Hyderabad from different parts of Telangana on Monday to lay siege to Dharna Chowk as a symbolic protest to force the government to drop its proposal to shift it to the outskirts of the city, citing public inconvenience." Kodandaram had stated on Saturday.

Interestingly, a few locals along with Indira Park Morning Walkers' Association staged a protest opposing TJAC's demonstration on Monday. They alleged that daily dharna’s cause inconvenience to locals and morning walkers. There have been instances where the people staying in those areas were also arrested while they were walking on the road. Apart from this, several hospitals, educational institutions, and traffic problems are also affected, they alleged.

Meanwhile, a huge posse of police has taken control of the Dharna Chowk and has set up barricades to prevent holding the protest. Police officials say that as the Assembly and Secretariat are located close to Indira Park, mobilising large crowds always causes public inconvenience and traffic congestion. Around 1,900 dharnas were organised in 2016 at Dharna Chowk by various political parties, people's organisations and students' associations.

The JAC and other opposition parties alleged that the TRS government was suppressing the democratic right of dissent by shifting Dharna Chowk. "This government is not allowing people's organisations and opposition parties to express their views on its policies. The proposal to shift Dharna Chowk is a classic example for its autocratic behaviour," they said.

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