HYDERABAD: Mild tension gripped Adarsh Nagar in Bolarum on Thursday as Ande Srinivas, a Dalit leader belonging to TRS tried to immolate himself when officials of Secunderabad Cantonment Board (SCB) visited area directing people to shift statues of Dr BR Ambedkar and Babu Jagjivan Ram that were constructed on Sunday. As SCB officials visited the area, Adarsh Nagar residents got agitated at the idea of shifting statues and started protesting. During protest, Srinivas doused himself with kerosene and tried to immolate himself but was stopped from doing so by police.
The protest against shifting of statues saw even leaders of Congress and TRS join the protest. NY Ashok Kumar of MRPS cultural troupe performed at the site as part of protest.
When contacted, SCB AE, M Gopal Krishna Das, said, “We had visited the area only for requesting the residents to shift the two statues to some another location and not to demolish the statues. The land on which the statues are located, is B3 category land. It falls under Ministry of Defence and is leased out to Red Cross.”
Srinivas said, “Babu Jagjivan Ram during his tenure as defence minister had visited Adarsh Nagar and had stopped demolition of houses belonging to Dalits. There are many political leaders occupying huge tracts of defence land in SCB areas. But within just four days of construction of these statues of Dalit leaders, with our money, the SCB officials have come to remove them. If they try to remove them, we will book cases against the SCB Chief Executive Officer under SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities act.”
Congress leader from SCB, Manne Krishank, who participated in protest said, “The land where statues have been constructed has been lying unused by Red Cross since decades. If residents of Adarsh Nagar, a reserved ward, construct statues of Dr BR Ambedkar and Babu Jagjivan Ram, by taking up a small piece of this land then what is wrong in it. We will not allow SCB to remove the statues.”