Dharna Chowk protest: Activists suspicious of shift backers'

Ruling party's hand suspected behind change in locals' stand.

Hyderabad: The counter-protesters had gathered under the banner of various organisations allegedly promoted by the TRS at Dharna Chowk.

Members of the local Colony Walker’s Association and residents claimed that they had come to express their opinion and wanted to extend support to the government’s decision to shift Dharna Chowk to the city outskirts. They said that the government’s move would ensure a safer future of their kids.

“For years, there have been protests here on daily basis. We live in the surrounding areas with extreme difficulty. Those protests create terror in our kids’ minds. There are always traffic jams and large number of cops, making it difficult for us to lead a normal life. We do not want this place to be Dharna Chowk anymore,” said 42-year-N. Sailu, a resident.

The locals claimed that occasional violent protests endanger their lives.

“Isn’t living peacefully like other citizens our right? When there are major protests we are sometimes forced to skip our jobs and our kids’ school since the entire area is barricaded,” said another resident.

Meanwhile, the Opposition alleged that the counter-protesters were mobilised by the TRS to undermine a democratic agitation. They alleged that TRS workers were brought to the place from various parts of the city to attack the peaceful agitators.

“Those counter-protesters were actually TRS workers in disguise. They want to undermine our protest. We were ready to sit down and talk to the residents. We have been trying to sort out the issue for the last few months by trying to meet DGP and ministers, but they are not ready to talk,” said TJAC leader Ravinder Rao.

Women cops caught on cam, ‘taking sides’
Women police personnel sitting with the counter-protesters at Dharna Chowk raised many eyebrows on Monday.

Sridevi, Lake police inspector, and 20 other women cops were seen sitting with the protesters in civil clothes, holding the same placards as the counter-protesters.

The incident ignited a controversy within minutes after photographs emerged, forcing the higher officials to launch an inquiry.

The women cops had joined the protests soon after they began the agitation. The cops in mufti sat with the protesters in the chairs and also chanted slogans against the Opposition.

The scene was captured by cameras belonging to the media. Responding to the row, police commissioner M. Mahender Reddy said that a departmental inquiry against the police officials has been initiated.

Senior officials said that the cops were deployed for intelligence gathering and surveillance.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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