Several alleged that the ruling TRS had turned army aspirant Rakesh’s last rites into a party event by bringing cadres in TRS shawls and setting up pink colour flex on the vehicle that was carrying the body.

Funeral vehicle that carried the dead body of army aspirant Damera Rakesh who died in police firing.Image: By arrangement
news Controversy Sunday, June 19, 2022 - 15:26

The ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) has come under fire from opposition parties in Telangana who accused it of using army aspirant Damera Rakesh’s death for political mileage. Rakesh died in the police firing at the Secunderabad railway station during the anti-Agnipath protests on Friday, June 17.

Rakesh’s body was taken out in a procession on Saturday in his native village Dabeerpet in Warangal rural district before his final rites were conducted. The procession, which saw thousands of people taking part, also saw the large-scale attendance of TRS cadres and leaders, including Minister Errabelli Dayakar Rao, Sathyavati Rathod, Rythu Bandhu Chairman Palla Rajeshwar Reddy, MLA Sudharshan Reddy and MP Maloth Kavitha. Earlier, Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) had announced Rs 25 lakh ex-gratia to the family of the deceased and a government job to the one of the family members.

During the funeral procession, which started from MGM Hospital in Warangal, TRS cadres and others were seen sloganeering against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Union government, demanding rolling back of the proposed Agnipath military recruitment scheme. As the procession passed through the town, several protesters – allegedly belonging to the TRS – set fire to the flexi board of the BSNL office near Pochamma maidan. Police had to resort to lathicharge in order to bring the situation to normal.

Several alleged that the TRS had turned Rakesh’s last rites into a party event by bringing cadres in TRS shawls and setting up pink colour boards on the tractor that was carrying the body.

A commotion broke out as Congress leader and Mulugu MLA Seethakka was stopped by TRS cadres near the village graveyard. After both TRS and Congress cadres confronted each other, the police had to escort Seethakka away from the scene. Seethakka questioned why she was not allowed to pay tributes to the deceased when TRS leaders were doing the same.

Telangana Congress chief and MP Revanth Reddy, who was also stopped at Ghatkesar as he was heading to attend Rakesh’s last rites, accused the TRS and BJP of playing politics over the army aspirant’s death. Revanth stated that both parties should take equal responsibility for the unrest that is prevailing in the state and country, as the youth are exhausted because both the governments have failed to provide employment opportunities. He condemned the state police for not allowing Congress and other opposition leaders to participate in the funeral.

Read: How anti-Agnipath violence unfolded in the Secunderabad Rly station

Revanth added, “We know how much the Agnipath scheme is against national security as the aspirants themselves are questioning what they will do after four years of service if there is no job security other than joining Naxalites.”

He also accused IT Minister KT Ramarao and Union Minister Kishan Reddy of indulging in “Twitter drama” at a time when the family of the deceased should be given assurance of justice.

Several social media users too flayed the TRS for seeking political mileage over the tragic death of an army aspirant.

Why is KCR converting the TRS into a national party? What is his strategy? Watch Let Me Explain:

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