Group clash turns Occupy Dharna Chowk strike violent

Group clash turns Occupy Dharna Chowk strike violent

Various political organisations, opposition parties and civil rights groups raised their voice in unison against shifting of ‘Dharna Chowk’ to the outskirts of the city and staged a protest to save the spot at Indira Park.

Hyderabad: Various political organisations, opposition parties and civil rights groups raised their voice in unison against shifting of ‘Dharna Chowk’ to the outskirts of the city and staged a protest to save the spot at Indira Park.

Prof M Kodandaram of the TJAC gave the protest call and opposition parties joined hands. Members of the Left-wing parties, TDP, BJP, Congress and Jana Sena Party came together to protest against the government's move to shift the iconic venue.

The stir took a violent turn after another group that was supporting the shifting of the venue clashed with protestors.

Both groups threw sticks, stones and chairs at each other. Police resorted to lathi-charge to disperse the crowd as the protesters tried to cross the barricades and enter Dharna Chowk.

Both the police and protesters hurled chairs and rained sticks on each other resulting in injuries to about 30 persons. Till 7 am, the entire area was peaceful.

A little later the members of walkers’ association holding placards reached the venue and staged a protest.

Around 8 am, the Left-wing parties started in a rally from Sundarayya Vignana Kendra and reached Indira Park at around 8.30 am. A little later other opposition party leaders, including activists of Jana Sena Party reached the spot.

A little before 10 am, a batch of the Dharna Chowk Parirakshana committee members came near the barricades. The leaders argued with the people sitting under shamiyanas behind the barricades and alleged that they were not locals but TRS activists from city outskirts.

As the arguments intensified suddenly chairs were hurled on the JAC activists, who retaliated and this led to stone pelting and chaos at the Dharna Chowk.

At this stage, police disbursed the crowd by lathi-charging them. Several activists, including CPM city secretary M Srinivas and SFI state general secretary Kota Ramesh and others were seriously injured. As the JAC activists tried to cross the barricades, the locals left the place leaving their placards. The activists damaged the chairs placed at the venue.

TJAC members accused the TRS of engineering clashes in an attempt to quell growing dissent against Chief Minister KCR. Leaders of all opposition parties held the government responsible for the violence and sought an apology.

The opposition leaders said that the sudden decision of the police to allow both the groups to hold dharna on Monday morning was an attempt to create trouble so that they can submit the video clippings of violence before the court and argue that there was a need to shift the venue.

Talking to media JAC chairman Prof M Kodandaram said that the ‘Dharna Chowk Akramana’ (Occupy Dharna Chowk) was successful. He demanded the government to call for an all-party meeting to resolve the issue peacefully.

“Many States have dharna chowks and protest is the right of the people in a democracy. Even during the Telangana agitation dharnas, sagara haram, vanta varpu were organised here in which even the TRS leaders had participated,” he said.

Demanding the government to change its attitude, he said that people would teach a lesson to the government if it continues to adopt such attitude.

TPCC president Uttam Kumar Reddy expressed anguish that the government which gave permission to protest, played a double game. Telangana TDP working president A Revanth Reddy said that the agitation would be further intensified.

Congress senior leader V Hanumanth Rao alleged that the government was supervising the protest to remove Dharna Chowk. He raised slogans of ‘Save Dharna Chowk’.

Human Rights Forum president S Jeevan Kumar alleged that the TRS Bholakpur division secretary P Ram Reddy, Musheerabad leader Mutha Gopal, Mutha Padma and their son Jayaram made all arrangements like tent, chairs and other utilities for the people.

POW leader questioned how the police could give permission to the spiritual meetings like 'Koti Deepotsavalu' and others at the same venue. She also questioned why the tents were arranged for the 'so- called' locals and why permission was being denied to the JAC leaders.

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