HYDERABAD: Over a year and a half after the state government closed down city's Dharna Chowk, a hub of protests akin Delhi's Jantar Mantar for several decades, for protestors, the Hyderabad High Court Friday issued an interim order allowing protest demonstrations at the famous venue, after following due guidelines.
It was in March 2017 that the city police issued orders prohibiting any protests at Dharna Chowk citing rising complaints of public nuisance from nearby residents and possible obstructions to functioning of state secretariat and state legislative assembly.
The HC in its order stated that the venue will be open for protestors for a period of six weeks after which the court will further hear the case. It has however clarified that the protests would be allowed only as per guidelines and taking due permission from authorities, which is central zone police.
The HC has been hearing bunch of PILs in the matter filed by Congress leader V Hanumantha Rao, CPI leader Chada Venkat Reddy and social activist PL Viswesvara Rao among others, and maintained that the right to dissent is every citizen right.
The court slammed the government for shifting Dharna Chowk to outskirts of the city while observing that who would listen to the peoples' voice if they protest in the outskirts of the city.
While deciding the close dharna chowk, the state government had identified open lands on the city outskirts to hold protests without any disturbance to general public. The move by TRS, however, was
criticised by political parties like Congress and BJP apart from civil society groups.