Beggars have returned to the streets of Hyderabad, weeks after they were detained by the police in a controversial move, ahead of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) that was hosted in the city.
The GES was attended by several dignitaries and foreign delegates including Advisor to the US President, Ivanka Trump, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"Now, only 10 female beggars are left with us in the Cherlapalli shelter. In the Chanchalguda shelter, only 30 beggars are left. All the remaining left the within no time,” K Arjun Rao, superintendent of the Cherlapalli open air jail and in-charge of the Anand Ashram, that housed the beggars, told Hindustan Times.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle, Vinoy Kumar Singh, Director General of Telangana Prisons, said “We will launch the operation again. We stand by our promise to give Rs 500 cash reward to those who pass us information on beggars after December 25.”
The crackdown on the homeless began on October 20, ahead on Ivanka Trump’s to the city. Those found on the streets are being shifted to Anand Ashram near the Chanchalguda prison and Cherlapally prison.
Officials said that the beggars were released after taking their fingerprints and photos, besides an undertaking from them.
According to the undertaking, the homeless, if caught again begging in the city, would be arrested under Prevention of Begging Act 1977 with an imprisonment ranging from six months to five years.
Earlier, a notification issued by the then city police Commissioner M Mahender Reddy said that the ban on begging would be only for a period of two-months.
However, it was later decided that the ban would extend and continue to remain even after the three-day Global Entrepreneurship Summit scheduled from November 28.
This isn’t the first time that such an order is being issued, as a similar drive was undertaken to make Hyderabad 'beggar-free' in 2000, when former US President Bill Clinton visited the city, and local police then relocated hundreds of beggars.