Violence mars ‘Chalo Tank Bund’ march

Agitators climb a railing and try to make their way towards Tank Bund as part of ‘Chalo Tank Bund’ protest in Hyderabad on Saturday.

Agitators climb a railing and try to make their way towards Tank Bund as part of ‘Chalo Tank Bund’ protest in Hyderabad on Saturday.  

Protesters break police barricade, enter Tank Bund

Tension prevailed in and around Tank Bund on Saturday as hundreds of protesters arrived in response to the ‘Chalo Tank Bund’ march call given by the Road Transport Corporation unions on the 36th day of their strike. The event saw sporadic incidents of stone-pelting and police using force.

All roads leading to the Tank Bund, including Khairatabad Crossroads, NTR Marg and Telugu Talli Statue, among others, were barricaded.

While the area wore a deserted look in the morning, towards the afternoon protesters, who were supported by opposition parties, started arriving in droves and tried to scale the barricades. However, police deployed in large numbers pushed the protesters back.

As the day progressed, there were several instances of stone-pelting. The police resorted to lathi-charge which left many protesters, including women TSRTC workers, injured . Some of them sustained bleeding injuries.

The police fired at least three tear gas shells and water cannons to contain the protesters.

“The police acted in a rash manner. Do they not travel in the same buses which we operate? They didn’t treat us like human beings. They are government workers and so are we,” a woman protester said, adding that the police used brute force.

Meanwhile, TSRTC trade union leaders alleged that the police also assaulted a woman bus conductor in the fracas.

The protesters made their way towards the Tank Bund from several directions, including Domalguda, Lower Tank Bund and from the Ambedkar Statue. This added to the confusion.

After a point, some protesters managed to enter the Tank Bund area.

As many as 1,266 persons were detained in the city. TSRTC-JAC leaders, including convener E. Ashwathama Reddy who tried to join the protests, co-convener K. Raji Reddy and others were also picked up and taken to different police stations.

Communist Party of India leader K Narayana, Congress legislator M Bhatti Vikramarka, former MP M. Anjan Kumar Yadav, BJP state president K Laxman and the party MP Arvind Dharmapuri too were detained. Another BJP MP Bandi Sanjay was also arrested.

Meanwhile, Hyderabad City Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar said there were seven instances of stone-pelting. He maintained that despite denial of permission for the march, the protesters tried to reach Tank Bund, but were stopped. Five police officers, including an Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police, were injured in the stone-pelting, he said.

Mr Kumar also said that police lathicharged the protesters so as to contain the violence and cases would be registered against those who resorted to violence.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 9:48:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/violence-mars-chalo-tank-bund-march/article29934033.ece

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