HYDERABAD: The alleged police highhandedness during the Congress party’s ‘Jung Siren’ agitation on Saturday evoked mixed response among the leaders of the grand old party. A section of Congress leaders expressed displeasure over the police lathi charge during the stir, while on the other hand, a few leaders opined that the police restrictions helped the party get more attention from the people.
The Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) called for Vidyarthi, Nirudyoga Jung Siren programme from October 2 on the occasion of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary. Citing traffic problems, the police prevented Congress leaders from taking out a rally from Dilsukhnagar to LB Nagar Crossroads and took custody of several leaders. TPCC president A. Revanth Reddy was arrested at his Jubilee Hills residence.
Several leaders were injured in police lathi charge and were admitted in various hospitals in the city. The Congress declared to conduct the Jung Siren programme from October 2 to December 9, the birthday of AICC president Sonia Gandhi. The police did not make open statements on restrictions but began arrests on the first day of the Jung Siren programme.
Congress MLAs T. Jayaprakash ‘Jagga’ Reddy, Seethakka, MLC T. Jeevan Reddy and others were taken into preventive custody in various places in the state. Frontal organisations including youth Congress and NSUI activists were also arrested in large numbers and kept in various police stations in twin cities.
Shockingly, Huzurabad byelection Congress candidate and NSUI state president Balmuri Venkat was also seriously injured in police lathi charge during Jung Siren programme and was admitted in a private hospital.
Speaking to this newspaper, TPCC working president B. Mahesh Kumar Goud alleged that police rudely behaved with the Congress leaders. The Congress planned to conduct the agitation programme in a peaceful and democratic manner, but the police created hurdles, he alleged. The Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) government should mend its way on problems of students and unemployed youths, he said.
When contacted, TPCC working president and Sangareddy MLA T. Jayaprakash ‘Jagga’ Reddy said a few police officers' excesses favoured them. Due to police restrictions, the Congress gained the attention of people across the state, he opined. The youth of Telangana fought for a separate state aspiring government jobs, he said. For the last seven years, the TRS government neglected students’ and unemployed youths' problems, he said.
However, TPCC president A. Revanth Reddy said they would approach SC/ST Commission for police lathi charge on Dalit students during the Jung Siren programme. CLP leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka strongly condemned the police lathi charge and house arrests. He said Opposition parties had the right to stage protests peacefully in a democracy.