Five days ahead of the Hyderabad municipal elections, amidst a communally charged campaign, Telangana Director General of Police (DGP) M Mahendar Reddy told the media on Thursday that “antisocial and rabid communal elements” in the city are under constant police surveillance. Taking advantage of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections, the DGP said that in Hyderabad city and other places across Telangana, “some disruptive forces are trying to create communal tensions.” The DGP said that the Telangana police have received reliable information regarding such attempts.
Seeking public support to ensure free and fair elections on December 1, Mahender Reddy also said that inflammatory posts on social media are also being identified by the police, and attempts are on to mitigate the damage done by such posts. “Police officials are on alert across the state and nor just in Hyderabad, to prevent and detect even small incidents and to take serious action,” he said.
Referring to a recent campaign speech by BJP Member of Parliament and Telangana state president Bandi Sanjay, who spoke of doing a “surgical strike” on the Old City area of Hyderabad, which has a high Muslim population, “to throw out Rohingya and Pakistani voters,” the DGP said that the speech is under legal scrutiny and if found provocative, a case will be booked against the MP. He also said that around 60 cases have been booked on Rohingya refugees in the city for procuring false identity documents like Aadhaar and ration card, and also stated that in most of the cases, convictions have already taken place.
The BJP on the other hand has accused the ruling TRS (Telangana Rashtra Samithi) of “trying to use the police force to create panic in the minds of GHMC voters.” Telangana BJP chief spokesperson K Krishna Saagar Rao claimed that Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao was doing so, as he is “scared of a negative result” in the GHMC polls.
“KCR is using government machinery unethically to paint a negative picture on BJP to GHMC voters. BJP believes he will fail miserably in this attempt to obfuscate voters,” a BJP statement said, adding that police press conferences were being scripted to broadcast the TRS narrative.
Watch: Telangana DGP Mahender Reddy speaks about communal tensions ahead of GHMC elections