Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC) leader M Kodandaram on Sunday said that they will be taking to the streets of Delhi in August to demand restoration of the right to protest at Dharna Chowk as per a report in the Times of India.
“We are going to book all the seats in a train from Hyderabad to Delhi and hold a protest at Jantar Mantar on August 22,“ he told TOI on the sidelines of a three-day convention organised by People’s Resistance Forum opposing Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
Kodandaram said they hope to build moral pressure on TRS through the Centre by protesting in Delhi.
Ever since ‘Dharna Chowk’ was closed for agitations, people have been protesting in front of Pragati Bhavan, the camp office-cum-residence of the Chief Minister KCR.
After the government decided to shift Dharna Chowk to the outskirts of the city, the issue has been festering with the ‘Occupy Dharna Chowk’ movement gaining steam.
On May 15 this year, hundreds of protesters and activists had gathered at Dharna Chowk to support the movement.
They broke through the police barricades to enter the site, and indulged in vandalism, breaking chairs set up at the protest site in the city’s Indira Park.
The protesters were led by the TJAC, headed by M Kodandaram, as well as by various opposition parties, including the Left parties, the TDP, the BJP, the Congress, and the Jana Sena.
TDP MLA Revanth Reddy while extending his support had said at the time that if the current protest did not stop the state from shifting the protest site, they will escalate their efforts and even protest in front of the Secretariat and Camp Office.
The TJAC’s ‘Occupy Dharna Chowk’, which has the support of the main opposition parties, came after the TRS government announced its decision to shift the Dharna Chowk, citing law and order problems. The move was also supported by residents of areas around Indira Park, citing repeated traffic snarls and other inconveniences due to frequent protests held at the site.
Proposing a handful of alternate sites on the outskirts of the city, CM KCR had argued that the venue of protests did not matter, as the Opposition would be able to highlight issues through the media. However, opposition parties have insisted that the protest site should remain in the heart of the city.