Don't shift Hyderabad's 'Dharna Chowk': Congress leader Hanumantha Rao moves HC

The state plans to shift 'Dharna Chowk', a popular venue of protests, to the outskirts of Hyderabad.
Don't shift Hyderabad's 'Dharna Chowk': Congress leader Hanumantha Rao moves HC
Don't shift Hyderabad's 'Dharna Chowk': Congress leader Hanumantha Rao moves HC
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In an ongoing protest against the shifting of 'Dharna Chowk', a popular venue of protests in Hyderabad, Senior Congress leader V Hanumantha Rao moved the Hyderabad High Court on Thursday.

In a PIL, the former MP asked the court to declare Telangana's decision to shift the venue to the outskirts of the city, as 'arbitrary, illegal and unconstitutional'. 

Hanumantha Rao also said that a ‘Dharna Chowk’ were meant to be located in the centre of the city, and asked that the protest site to remain where it was. 

This comes just a few days after the police detained leaders of Telangana unit of Congress party in Hyderabad, as they intensified their protest on the issue.

Tension prevailed at Tank Bund in the heart of the city as several leaders sat on satyagraha at the statue of BR Ambedkar, but police evicted them on the ground that there was no permission for the protest.

The Congress party had called for the protest to ask the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government to revive 'Dharna Chowk' at Indira Park in the heart of the city.

The Congress leaders said TRS chief K Chandrasekhar Rao, who organised many protests in the city, including the ‘Million March’ during the Telangana movement, was snatching the rights of the opposition parties.

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

Chief Minister Chandrasekhar Rao had last week defended the police move to shift 'Dharna Chowk' to the city outskirts saying that that some parties were deliberately creating problems in the name of protests.

He also stated that the venue doesn't make any difference as the opposition will still be able to highlight the issues and bring them to the government's notice thanks to the coverage by the media.

The move has received widespread criticism, from activist groups and all political parties in the state. 

Last month, leaders of all opposition parties came together to meet Governor 
ESL Narasimhan Rao and submitted a memorandum protesting the government's move.

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