The Telangana Joint Action Committee has alleged a conspiracy.

Dharna Chowk clash Why was a cop in plainclothes part of the pro-govt protest
news News Tuesday, May 16, 2017 - 13:53

With most media channels carrying visuals of Lake Police Inspector K Sridevi, sitting in plainclothes among the pro-government demonstrators, raising slogans and holding placards, the question of it being a conspiracy has arisen.

"The police officer was planted there by TRS itself, to create a fight between two groups. The Indira Park Walkers Association themselves said that they were not getting involved in the issue. All the people present in the pro-government demonstration were either TRS workers or police officers. Their main aim was to create a rift between the two groups," says Ramagiri Prakash, the regional coordinator of the Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC) for Hyderabad.  

As per the latest update, the officer has been withdrawn from her duty for taking part in the protest and has been attached to Central Zone control room. An enquiry has also been ordered against her.

On Monday, both pro and anti-government protestors clashed at the venue in response to the TJAC’s call to “Occupy Dharna Chowk”.

The New Indian Express reported that some women police constables working in Warangal were also part of the crowd, along with other TRS leaders who were identified to be posing as locals.

The TNIE report also adds that biryani packets and water bottles were brought in a government vehicle with the number plate (AP 29 T 7823) for the pro-government demonstrators.

When the media questioned Central Zone DCP Joel Davis about these allegations, he said that an internal enquiry has been initiated. 

Meanwhile, the ruling TRS party has hit back.

Talking to media persons, state Home Minister Nayani Narasimha Reddy, MLA Talasani Srinivas Yadav and TRS MLC Karne Prabhakar condemned the violence and said that action would be taken against the 'culprits'.

"From the last few days, Opposition has been after the ruling government. They are scared that people are not with them, and backing the Telangana government, because we are working for them," Narasimha Reddy said.

"When the people in the colony itself protested, what was the need for these goons to attack them. What is the need to attack citizens?" he asked. 

On Monday, several people broke through the police barricades to enter the site, and indulged in vandalism, breaking chairs set up at the protest site.

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. 

Dharna Chowk has been the epicentre for thousands of protests by political parties, people's organisations, unions and others for over two decades.

In March this year, the Telangana government decided to shift the venue for protests to the outskirts of the city, citing 'law and order' problems, as the site is close to the secretariat.

The state proposed alternative sites in the outskirts of the city, and claimed that issues would still be covered as the media would publish it. 

However, critics of the move were not satisfied, and pointed out that Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao himself had held several protests at the spot, while he was part of the struggle for a separate state.

On Monday, even as people protested the move, a small crowd also sat on the other side of Dharna Chowk, in favour of shifting the protest site. 

The TRS government claimed that they were locals who were burdened with the constant protests in their neighbourhood, and wanted some respite from the traffic snarls. 

Meanwhile, speaking to the media, MLA Srinivas Yadav said, "They broke chairs, pulled down the stage. That behaviour is not acceptable. The opposition is not able to get a chance to protest anything, because the TRS is doing great work." 

“The violence was deliberate and aimed at creating anarchy in the city, browbeat morning walkers and locals opposing continuation of Dharna Chowk as it was causing huge inconvenience. The issue is pending in the High Court. The court has to take a final decision,” TRS spokesperson Karne Prabhakar was quoted as saying.

Even Telangana IT Minister KT Rama Rao took to Twitter, and said, "There is a dire crisis of issues for the opposition in Telangana. Try as you might to manufacture artificial dissent, won't work in democracy."


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