Five physically-challenged persons climb cell tower and threaten to jump from it

There was high drama during the dharna staged by members of the Vikalangula Hakkula Porata Samiti (VHPS) before the Collectorate on Thursday afternoon as five persons climbed the cell tower in the office complex and threatened to jump from it insisting that Collector N. Mukteswara Rao talk to them. A fire engine was summoned as a precautionary measure.

After staying for over two hours on the tower from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., K. Srinu (25), P. Mahesh (22), P. Venkanna (28), Ramesh (25) and K. Venkanna (25) were persuaded to come down by Nalgonda Additional SP M. Siddhaiah and local DSP P. Vijayakumar.

The officers explained to VHPS district president Gaddam Khasim, who led the demonstration, that the Collector would not be able to meet the protesters as he was busy.

Hike in pension sought

The VHPS activists staged a dharna demanding, among other things, a three-fold increase in their pension of Rs. 500.

When they tried to forcibly enter the Collectorate, their attempts were foiled by the police.

Two climbed the office gate, while others squatted on the main road blocking traffic for over two hours.

The other demands include compulsory implementation of three per cent reservations, restoration of pension to those who were deprived following enforcement of biometric system at Sadaram camps, sanction of Antyodaya cards, Deepam connections and house-sites, filling of backlog posts and free bus passes.

Correspondent adds: Physically challenged persons under the aegis of MRPS and Vikalangula Hakkula Porata Samiti (VHPS) staged a dharna near Telangana Chowk, here on Thursday, demanding that the government enhance their monthly pension from Rs.500 to Rs.1,500, among other things.

They also demanded for provision of seven per cent reservation in the local body elections.

They tried to take out a rally from Telangana Chowk to the Collectorate, but the police stopped them and a delegation of five members were allowed to submit a memorandum to district Collector M. Girija Shanker.