HYDERABAD: In what was a big blow to the RTC JAC’s call for ‘Chalo Tank Bund’ protest rally, the JAC convenor Ashwathama Reddy was taken into preventive custody on Saturday while he was on his way to the protest.
In fact, the state police also swooped down on various JAC leaders, RTC workers, student leaders, political bigwigs, and caste-based organisation members, detaining them or putting them on house arrest in a bid to quell the protests.
Initially, the arrests and detentions did send an impression that the march would be foiled, however, an overwhelming number of protestors turned up, leaderless.
Apart from the JAC convenor, other senior JAC leaders, like Thomas Reddy and Raji Reddy, were also taken into preventive custody.
While Thomas leads the Telangana Mazdoor Union, Raji is the chief of the Employees Union. Meanwhile, CLP leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, BJP state chief K Laxman, TPCC leader Ponnam Prabhkar, MLA J Geeta Reddy, former PCC chief Ponnala Lakshmaiah, former minister Mohammad Ali Shabbir, former MP Anjan Kumar Yadav, BJP leader P Sudhakar Reddy were put under house arrest on Saturday.
Meanwhile, BJP MP Bandi Sanjay, MLC N Ramchandra Rao and TJS chief M Kodandaram, who managed to reach Tank Bund, were taken into preventive custody and shifted to various police stations in the city.
The CPI national secretary K Narayana, state secretary Chada Venkat Reddy, Sangareddy MLA T Jayaprakash Reddy, former MLA Malreddy Ranga Reddy, and former Rajya Sabha member V Hanumanth Rao, who also tried to proceed towards Tank Bund, were arrested by the police.
Speaking on the occasion, TJS chief Kodandaram, while criticising the state government for not allowing agitators to stage a protest at the Tank Bund, accused the chief minister of trying to silence the people with use of force.
BJP chief Laxman condemned the police high-handedness and alleged that batons were unnecessarily charged at the RTC workers, including women, who were peacefully moving towards Tank Bund to take part in the agitation.
“Despite a large contingent of security deployed in the city, protestors were able to reach Tank Bund. This a moral victory for RTC workers,” CLP leader Bhatti stated.