Protest

Image: YS Sharmila/Twitter

Mild tension prevailed near the Boduppal Exhibition Ground in Hyderabad as the police detained YSR Telangana Party (YSRTP) chief YS Sharmila Reddy on Tuesday, September 21. The Medipally police detained Sharmila for defying police orders, which prohibited her from holding a protest against the rising unemployment in Telangana. 

As per the schedule, Sharmila was set to take part in Nirudyoga Deeksha (Unemployment Protest) in Boduppal, and the party had allegedly sought verbal permission from the police. Before arriving at the protest site, Sharmila had met with the family of Ravinder Nayak, a young man from Peerjadiguda who took his own life allegedly due to unemployment. 

As Sharmila reached the Boduppal Ground, she learnt that the police denied her permission to hold the protest. However, using the limited time in hand, Sharmila sat down amid the media gathering, party cadres and members, and addressed the issue of unemployment as well as the police excess. “If the police are denying us permission to protest, let's go to the police station. Chalo Medipally police station,” she raised slogans, calling on her cadre to follow her to the station. 

As she started walking to the station, the police detained Sharmila. Mild tension ensued as the party cadres and youth confronted the police while they were taking Sharmila into custody. Women police personnel were seen forcibly lifting Sharmila and taking her into a police vehicle.

Sharmila raised objections to the police action, asking why she was being arrested despite staging a peaceful protest. Police officers told her that there was no permission for the protest. Meanwhile, YSRTP leaders and workers reached Medipally police station and sat on the road demanding Sharmila's release. Police then shifted her to another police station.

Taking exception for not granting permission to hold a protest, Sharmila accused Telangana police of being "stooges" to Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR), and opposition parties. Sharmila said that her party has been conducting protests every Tuesday for the last 12 weeks, seeking employment or jobs.  

She slammed the police for not granting her party the permission to hold a protest and going back on verbal permission granted by the local Inspector. 

Daughter of former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy, Sharmila alleged that the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government was afraid of her as she was "exposing its failures". She blamed Chief Minister KCR for the suicide of scores of unemployed youth.

Sharmila demanded the government take immediate steps to fill up 1.90 lakh vacancies in various government departments. She said the government needs to recruit over three lakh people to fill the vacancies and the posts created with the formation of new districts.

She claimed that over 54 lakh unemployed have submitted applications for jobs to the Telangana State Public Service Commission (TSPSC).

Sharmila, who launched the YSRTP in July, announced on Monday, September 20, that she will undertake a state-wide 'padyatra' from October 20 to highlight the failures of the TRS government.

Meanwhile, some women labourers at Peerzadiguda staged a protest, alleging that the YSRTP workers had brought them to participate in the hunger strike by promising to pay Rs 400 each. The daily wage labourers said they were not paid the money.

(With input from IANS)

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