Hyderabad, Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President N. Uttam Kumar Reddy has strongly condemned the TRS Government for denial of permission for holding a public meeting at Sircilla on July 31.
The Congress party had given a call for ‘Chalo Sircilla’ agitation on July 31 to protest against the brutal torture of Dalits and BCs in illegal custody in Nerella village of Rajanna-Sircilla by the police. The meeting is scheduled to be addressed by former Speaker of Lok Sabha Meira Kumar. She is also scheduled to meet the affected families in Ramchandrapuram, Nerella and Jillela villages.
Addressing a press conference at Gandhi Bhavan on Saturday, Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the Congress party had applied for permission about a week ago to hold a public meeting at Sircilla Junior College grounds on July 31. However, the police rejected the application on Friday night and the Congress party was informed about the same today at about 1 pm. “This was done at the instance of Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao’s office. This is nothing but an attempt to suppress the voice of Dalits and BCs who were subjected to illegal detention and torture in open violation of their human rights,” he said adding that the Congress party has already moved a House Motion in Hyderabad High Court seeking permission to hold the protest meeting. He expressed confidence that the High Court would do justice by granting permission for the proposed meeting.
Uttam Kumar Reddy ridiculed the contention of Rajanna-Sircilla district administration that theSircilla Junior College ground could not be used to hold a political meeting. He pointed out that several prominent leaders including former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, former Chief Ministers Marri Chenna Reddy and Dr. Y.S.Rajashekhara Reddy and even present CM KCR had addressed the meetings from the same ground. He alleged that by denying permission, the Chief Minister not only wants to suppress the inhuman incident that occurred in the constituency represented by his son K.T. Rama Rao, but also trying to shield the sand mafia which is being run in connivance with KCR’s family members. He accused KCR of treating police department as his personal entity. He said that the meeting is proposed to be held at 5 PM in the evening and therefore, it would not disturb the college students.
The TPCC chief said that Congress leaders had a made a presentation on the issue with DGP Anurag Sharma about 10 days ago. Despite giving an assurance of enquiring into the matter, the DGP remained silent. A tribal, Bhoomaiah, was killed in the road accident due to illegal movement of vehicles belonging to sand mafia on July 2. This triggered protest by the local residents. The local police took local villagers, including four Dalits and 3 BCs into illegal custody on July 4 and brutally tortured them till they were produced before a court on July 8. “When we raised this issue, IT Minister K. Tarakarama Rao tried to divert attention by speaking about irrelevant issues. KTR should answer whether or not Dalits and BCs of Nerella village were tortured in illegal police custody? Whether or not Goldmine Mineral Company belong to KCR’s close relative Santosh Rao? Whether or not illegal movement of vehicles killed and injured dozens of local residents in recent past?” he asked. Further, he said entire mining activity should be closed by 6 pm. However, he said that the sand mining in Sircilla has been going on illegally on 24×7 basis.
Uttam Kumar Reddy said that Meira Kumar would meet the family members of Bhoomaiah, who was killed in road accident, and extend financial assistance. She would also meet and interact with the families of victims of police brutality.
Congress senior leaders including ex-PCC President V. Hanumantha Rao, AICC Secretary Madhu Yashki Goud, MLA Dr. J. Geetha Reddy, Chief Spokesperson Dr. Dasoju Sravan and Karimnagar DCC President Katakam Mruthyunjayam were also present in the press conference.
Addressing the media, Mruthyunjayam said that the TRS Government has unleashed terror in the area and entering Sircilla has been become like entering Pakistan border. He said people have been terrorised by the police to the extent that opposition parties are unable to hire tents from local vendors.
Geetha Reddy asked whether or not Sircilla is part of India. Strongly condemning the TRS Government for denial of permission, she said although Dalits have actively participated in the Telangana movement, the TRS Govt has betrayed and suppressed the community.
VHR demanded that KTR should be booked under SC, ST Atrocities Act for violation of human rights in Sircilla. He also demanded that the Rajanna-Sircilla SP and other police personnel responsible for the incident should be suspended immediate.