ANDHRA PRADESH

Demolition of martyrs memorial: TRS blames Minister

HYDERABAD Sept. 6. The Telangana Rashtra Samiti on Saturday demanded that the Government suspend the Commissioner of the Karimnagar Municipality for demolishing the martyr's memorial under construction in the town on Friday.

Alleging that the Minister for Transport, M. Damodar Reddy, was behind the demolition, the TRS also demanded that the district Collector tender unconditional apology to the people of Telangana for the incident.

Addressing a press conference, the TRS president, K. Chandrasekhar Rao, said despite a resolution passed by the general body of the municipality for construction of the memorial, the authorities demolished it. The Collector behaved like a "TDP agent'' rather than a responsible IAS officer and ordered the demolition of the memorial. A complaint against the Collector would be lodged with the IAS officers' association.

He said the incident which led to tension in Karimnagar town had again exposed "the anti-Telangana stand'' taken by the ruling TDP which had time and again indulging in acts aimed at hurting the sentiments of Telangana people. The Telangana movement had crossed the borders of the State and assumed national importance.

He said that the national front for smaller states would be launched on Tuesday in New Delhi after which parties demanding five separate states would launch their campaign. "With as many as 115 Lok Sabha seats at stake in these areas, the front is sure to play a major role in national politics in the next elections,'' he said.

In this backdrop, the ruling party should understand that it could not stop the struggle for statehood for the region by such actions.

Stating that the TRS had resolved to construct martyr's memorials at all district and mandal headquarters in Telangana districts, he demanded that the Chief Minister, N Chandrababu Naidu, issue clear instructions to officials concerned to permit the constructions and ensure that incidents like that in Karimanagar did not recur.

Near-total bandh in Karimnagar

By Our Staff Reporter

KARIMNAGAR SEPT. 6. The bandh called by the TRS in Karimnagar district on Saturday in protest against the demolition of the memorial was near `total' and passed off peacefully.

All shops, business establishments and cinema theatres remained closed during till afternoon. The RTC operated only skeletal services on important routes. TRS activists stoned about 10 RTC buses and deflated another 15 RTC buses which were running in various parts of the district.

In Karimnagar town, TRS activists led by the Sircilla MLA, R Papa Rao, the TRS State political affairs committee chairman, Deshini Chinamallaiah, the TRS State general secretary, K. Mruthyunjayam, the State vice- president, M. Satyanarayana Reddy, the district president, Satyanarayana Reddy, and others obstructed the movement of RTC buses from the bus stand area for about two hours. They were later arrested by the police.

The Zilla Parishad Chairman, K.V Rajeshwara Rao, the Karimnagar Municipal Chairman, V. Hanumanth Reddy, and others were arrested when they were trying to enforce bandh by going round the town in vehicles. On the other hand, several other activists were arrested for staging dharna and rasta roko in the town.

Another group set fire to an effigy of the Collector, Sumita Dawra, in the RTC bus stand area, however they were arrested by the police.

Police had a tough time controlling the agitating activists who had sprang surprises at various places by suddenly staging a dharna and rasta roko and also deflating and stoning of RTC buses. In all, over 200 activists were arrested in the town.

In Ramagundam region, TRS activists staged a rail roko, stopping the the Andhra Pradesh Express bound for New Delhi for about 45 minutes in the Ramagundam railway station. In the Jammikunta railway station, the Telangana Express and the Singareni passenger were detained for about half an hour each. Reports reaching here said bandh was near-total in Sircilla, Jagtial, Godavarikhani and other important towns.

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