Hyderabad: Tension prevailed in Siddipet on Monday after TJAC chairman M. Kodandaram and advocate B. Rachana Reddy, who had gone to Bailampur village in Siddipet district to meet villagers who stand to lose their lands for the Konda Pochammasagar reservoir, were detained by the police.
While Prof. Kodandaram was detained soon after he left the village, Ms Rachana Reddy was detained after being chased for about 15 km on the highway, for allegedly violating prohibitory orders in place in the village. They were later released.
Earlier, the police tried to take the TJAC chairman and Ms Reddy into custody while they were in a meeting with about 50 villagers in the local panchayat office. However, taken aback when the villagers started protesting, the cops beat a retreat.
Prof. Kodandaram and Ms Reddy had visited the village where the state government has completed about 50 per cent of the land acquisition process in the last three days for the Konda Pochamma reservoir. The villagers say that the government is now trying to pressurise them in order to expedite the acquisition of their agricultural lands for the project and had invited them to understand their legal position.
Prof. Kodandaram said: “When the villagers protested, police allowed us to leave, but when we reached the highway, they stopped our vehicles and detained us. We did not hold any illegal meetings in the village. We only explained them the process involved and left the decision to the villagers.”
He was lodged in Begumpet Police station Ms Reddy said that the police chased her car on the highway towards Hyderabad. “They took me to Gouraram police station and released me later in the afternoon,” she said.
Ms Reddy said that the government was using the official machinery and party activists to create fear among the villagers and forcefully acquire their land.
Meanwhile, Siddipet police commissioner N. Shivakumar said that prohibitory orders were in place and organising a gathering without permission was violation of the orders.
“They were taken into preventive custody and released after a brief period of time,” he said....