Cops lathi-charge protesting village revenue assistants

Hyderabad: The ‘Chalo Assembly’ protest by Village Revenue Assistants turned violent on Tuesday, leading to lathi-charge by police, including on women protesters. Unable to bear the fury of the police, many VRAs and other protesters ran helter-skelter to ‘safer zones’, the protesters said later. Around 10,000 VRAs from across the state marched towards the Assembly in three groups.

Breaking the thick security cordon at the Assembly, one group managed to reach the gate, exposing the security loopholes while the other two groups were stopped midway. The protesting VRAs were taken into preventive custody and shifted to different police stations. They were later released on a personal surety.

“Usually police have been helpful to us. But the way they behaved today was atrocious. We were chased on the roads like criminals and dragged away,” said a protester.

They claimed that police canned them ruthlessly, leaving several members injured, some with bleeding injuries. None of them needed hospitalisation.

Tuesday noon, the VRAs gathered at Indira Park and started marching towards the Assembly, where a session was in progress. Expecting police interception, they divided into three groups and took separate routes towards the Assembly.

“We knew they would come for us and we had our own plans to counter them,” they said.

The VRAs, who have been protesting for the past 50 days, reached the city before Sunday, hoodwinking the police and intelligence agencies.

“They planned to house arrest us, but we had to outsmart them so that our voice could be heard. Minister K.T. Rama Rao called us for a discussion and heard our grievances,” they claimed.

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