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'Chalo Tank Bund' turns violent

Highlights

All the roads around the Hussainsagar lake turned into a sort of warzone on Saturday as violence broke out during the ‘Chalo Tank Bund’ programme organised by the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC).

Hyderabad: All the roads around the Hussainsagar lake turned into a sort of warzone on Saturday as violence broke out during the 'Chalo Tank Bund' programme organised by the Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC). Hundreds of protestors managed to reach the Tank Bund, defying police orders.

Though the police have barricaded the Tank Bund and surrounding roads since morning, the protestors took the police by surprise by entering the area from both sides.

They broke the barricades, sat on the road and raised slogans against the government for not accepting the demands of the RTC employees, who have been on strike for the last 36 days.

The police used batons and lobbed teargas shells to disperse the protestors, who removed the barricades entering the Tank Bund. Thousands of the workers rushed towards the Tank Bund breaking the first level of security at the traffic junction at Telugu Talli flyover.

The workers, including women employees in large numbers, stormed the second level of security near the Venkataswamy statue on the Tank Bund. However, the police arrested the agitators and took them away from the spot.

In the meantime, a small group of agitators came from Indira Park Road and reached close to the Tank Bund.

The police used lathis to prevent them from going towards the bund.

The agitators came in large numbers from the Liberty Crossroads and reached the Ambedkar statue near the entrance of the Tank Bund raising slogans such as 'CM down down' and 'we want justice'.

Another group coming from the Liberty side hurled stones, the police resorted to lathi-charge. While some of the agitators were injured in the lathi-charge, the police personnel were injured in stone pelting.

As the agitators tried to reach the Tank Bund from Domalguda side, the police burst four rounds of teargas shells to disperse them.

The RTC workers came in groups and kept the police personnel on tenterhooks right from 1.30 pm to 5 pm. The women workers of the RTC showed more intent in the 'Chalo Tank Bund' programme and several got injured in the lathi-charge. Women agitators tried to run towards the Tank Bund from areas where male police personnel were deployed.

A women conductor got injured after a male policeman hit her on her nose with a lathi. According to reports, 1,266 persons, including of the JAC and other political leaders, were arrested and were taken to different police stations in the city.

City Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar said in a statement that the frontal organisations of some Maoist organisations were involved in stone pelting that took place at seven or eight places.

Huge number of RTC employees, new democracy and other social organisations tried to enter the Tank Bund road. They pelted stones.

Even senior officers were injured in the stone pelting and to stop this, the police had to resort to lathi-charge. Firm action as per law will be taken, the Commissioner said.

Despite resorting to the arrest of about 5000 leaders and activists since Friday, the RTC employees succeeded in reaching the Tank Bund, which was a sort of reminiscence of the Million March that took place during the agitation for separate Telangana though on a lower scale.

Leaders like BJP MP Bandi Sanjay Kumar, Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS) president M Kodandaram, Congress leader Jagga Reddy and leaders of Left parties, trade unions and student groups were arrested when they were heading towards the Tank Bund. RTC JAC convenor Ashwathama Reddy was also arrested.

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