THE TRS government in Telangana has been continuing its autocratic measures and repression on democratic protests against its failures of commission and omission. The police arrested hundreds of leaders and workers of the Left parties, including the CPI(M), and mass organisations at Sundarayya Vignana Kendram and foiled their attempts to conduct two kilometre run protesting against the KCR government’s undemocratic decision to shift the dharna chowk from Indira park to the outskirts of Hyderabad. Political parties, mass organisations and different sections of the people have been organising dharnas and protest meetings at the dharna chowk over the years seeking redressal of their grievances and demands. Intolerant as it has been to any kind of protests against its anti-people and undemocratic measures, the TRS government, as a part and parcel of its autocratic approach to stiffle dissent and democratic rights, decided to shift the dharna chowk to the outskirts of Hyderabad, causing extreme inconvenience to protesters who come from all over the state. The decision to conduct two kilometre run on March 26 from Sundarayya Vignana Kendram was taken at a state-level convention held at SVK by the Left parties and mass organisations presided by D G Narasimha Rao, state secretariat member of the CPI(M), on March 21. A 21-member committee for protection of the dharna chowk was elected with Chada Venkat Reddy as convener and Prof. PL Visweswar Rao as co-convener. The convention decided to campaign extensively through social media on the need for continuing the dharna chowk at Indira Park. The convention also decided to conduct round table meetings and conventions at mandal and district levels till the third week of April and resolved to resort to direct action by the end of April on the issue.
The police descended on a large scale on SVK at Baghlingampally on March 26 at 5 AM and started arresting leaders and workers of the Left parties and mass organisations as and when they arrived at the venue to participate in the run. Due to the highhanded behaviour of the male police, some of the women who came to participate in the run, sustained injuries. Secretary of the Telangana state committee of the CPI(M) Tammineni Veerabhadram, state secretariat members of the Party DG Narasimha Rao and G Ramulu, state secretariat members of the CPI, M Adireddy, P Padma and N Balamallesh, chairman of Telangana JAC, Prof M Kodandaram, state secretariat member of CPI(ML) New Democracy K Govardhan, general secretary of MCPI(U) Md Ghouse, Vimalakka of Telangana United Front, president of PWO Sandhya and leaders of several mass organisations were among the arrested. The protesters raised slogans against the TRS government, chief minister KCR and the police, questioned the dictatorial approach of the government in suppressing democratic rights of the people and demanded continuation of the dharna chowk at Indira Park itself.
Strongly condemning the decision of the TRS government to shift the dharna chowk, Veerabhadram accused it of dictatorial rule and trying to suppress the dissatisfaction of the people expressed through protests against its failures of commission and omission. Questioning whether permission of the police to conduct the run peacefully was necessary, he asserted that there was no need to seek permission for every programme. There has been no consonance between what KCR had said before the elections and what he has been doing after coming to power in the state. Veerabhadram warned that the dictatorial measures of the KCR government would not be allowed to continue and appealed to the people to question and protest the anti-people policies and dictatorial measures of the government.