Mallanna Sagar protest turns bloody జూలై 31, 2016Posted by M Bharath Bhushan in corruption, ecology, Economy, Harish, KCR, Medak, submergence, suicide, violence.
Tags: Mallanna Sagar
Police cane villagers, lob tear gas shells as Mallanna Sagar protest turns bloody
Express News Service, 25 July 2016
SANGAREDDY: The Mallanna Sagar project oustees agitation took a ‘bloody’ turn on Sunday with police caning the villagers, resulting in injuries to dozens of people. Police opened fire in the air and lobbed tear gas shells to bring the situation under control.
All Opposition parties called for Medak district bandh on Monday protesting against the police action against the villagers. It is alleged that the police caned the villagers, including women and children indiscriminately, and even dragged people out of their houses and beat them up.
Women fell unconscious after being lathicharged during a protest | Express photo
Two of the submergence villages, Erravelli and Vemulaghat, resembled war zone with the locals fighting a pitched battle with police throughout most part of the day. Trouble began when some villagers of Vemulaghat, who were on a 50-day relay hunger strike against the Mallanna Sagar project, tried to lay siege to national highway protesting the government’s attitude in going ahead with the project inspite of objection from locals.
The villagers were stopped near Pallepahad crossroads. Police stopped them from marching ahead citing imposition of prohibitory orders in the villages. The villagers entered into a heated argument with police and a scuffle ensued between the two sides. Police caned the villagers and in the lathicharge, eight villagers including women were injured. Two women fell unconscious. At the same time, the villagers of Erravelli were holding a grama sabha in their village. As they got the news of police action on Vemulaghat villagers, the Erravelli villagers too decided to lay seige on the national highway and marched towards the main road.
Police stopped them to reach the national highway and by then, people of other submergence villages too reached the spot. As the number of protesting villagers swelled, police lathicharged them.
Taken aback by the surge of villagers, police took a back foot and went back for some distance. As the situation seemed to go out of control, police lobbed tear gas shells. At this juncture, police opened two rounds of fire into the air.
The Mallanna Sagar project oustees agitation took a ‘bloody’ turn on Sunday with police caning the villagers, resulting in injuries to dozens of people. Police opened fire in the air and lobbed tear gas shells to bring the situation under control.
Later, the police officials said they would allow the villagers to stage a protest on the national highway on Monday after which the villagers relented.
Meanwhile, TDP farmer wing leader V Pratap Reddy and another CPM leader Jayaraj, who were heading to the village, were stopped and were beaten up by the police.
Also, reports reaching here said the police entered the houses of several villagers and thrashed them mercilessly. Police were seen slapping farmer union leaders and thrash villagers with lathis.
The injured villagers were shifted to Gajwel Hospital. A delegation of Congress leaders consoled the injured at the hospital and were arrested at Pragynapur crossroads when they tried to visit Erravelli in the evening.
All the political parties condemned the police action. A Medak district bandh was called and Congress, TDP, CPI and CPM have supported the call. TJAC too condemned the police excesses and a delegation led by TJAC chairman Prof M Kodandaram will visit the injured persons in Gajwel hospital.
The Congress has also decided to organise Chalo Mallanna Sagar on July 26. The TDP gave a call to lay seige to national highway in the district on Monday.
Meanwhile, irrigation minister T Harish Rao said the opposition parties are fuelling protests in Mallanna Sagar submergence areas and said the government is ready to pay compensation as per the wishes of the oustees.