The state plans to shift 'Dharna Chowk', a popular venue of protests, to the outskirts of Hyderabad.

Hyderabad HC asks Telangana govt to explain stand on shifting Dharna Chowk from Indira Park
news News Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 08:52

The Hyderabad High Court directed the Telangana government on Tuesday, to file an affidavit and explain its stand on the decision to shift Hyderabad's 'Dharna Chowk' from Indira Park, to the outskirts of the city.

This decision came after senior Congress leader V Hanumantha Rao moved court last week.

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’ was meant to be located in the centre of the city, and asked that the protest site remain where it was. 

The Congress leader said that 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.

According to reports, Telangana advocate general K Ramakrishna Reddy told the court that the state has not taken a decision on the matter yet. 

Responding to this, the petitioner's counsel claimed that the police had already blocked protesters from the venue.

After hearing both sides, the court adjourned the case.

Meanwhile, several people continue to protest against the state’s move.

The Telangana Joint Action (TJAC), led by M Kodandaram, has decided to organise a ‘Chalo Indira Park’ on May 15, demanding that the government restore ‘Dharna Chowk’ in Hyderabad.

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