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Massive Protest in Hyderabad to 'Save Dharna Chowk' From Relocation

The stir took a violent turn after protesters forcefully entered Dharna Chowk, breaking chairs and police barricades. Both the police and protesters hurled chairs and rained sticks on each other.

Sakshi Khanna | CNN-News18

Updated:May 15, 2017, 1:04 PM IST
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Massive Protest in Hyderabad to 'Save Dharna Chowk' From Relocation
The stir took a violent turn after protesters forcefully entered Dharna Chowk, breaking chairs and police barricades
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Hyderabad: Raising their voices against the shifting of ‘Dharna Chowk’ to the outskirts of the city, various political organisations, opposition parties and civil rights groups staged a massive protest to ‘save’ the spot at Indira Park.

The stir took a violent turn after protesters forcefully entered Dharna Chowk, breaking chairs and police barricades. Both the police and protesters hurled chairs and rained sticks on each other.

The altercation left several injured in both sides. The protesters also faced opposition from residents around the chowk as they want the spot to be relocated. The residents claim that the opposition is politicising the issue.

"Around 50,000 people live around Indira Park. Due to various dharnas, the roads are usually blocked, causing inconvenience to us. Traffic jams, loud noises, unhygienic garbage disposal at site creates more than enough trouble to those living in this locality," said a resident.

The opposition says that the current stir at Dharna Chowk is a ‘symbolic protest’ against the government banning democratic movements at Indira Chowk.

Dharna Chowk has been a popular spot in Hyderabad to stage protests, the spot was extensively used during the Telangana agitation movement.

This year, the Telangana government abruptly decided to shift Dharna Chowk to city out skirts, citing law a law and order problems. Shifting of the site was criticized and seen as suppression of democratic rights to dissent by the KCR government.

Opposition parties like the BJP, Congress, TDP and even the Left have joined hands with Pawan Kalyan’s Janasena Party to extend support to the protest called by the Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC).

TJAC Chairman Prof Kodandram in a video message has appealed people from all walks of life to join in the protest to protect their constitutional right.

Senior Congress leader Hanumantha Rao, who participated in the protest, said, "It’s a protest against the KCR government, which is trying to suppress voices of dissent and any opposition against him and his family’s rule."

The decision to shift Dharna Chowk was taken earlier this year after TJAC called for protests highlighting rising unemployment in the state. This led to a massive showdown between protesters and Police. Prof Kodandaram, along with many activists and leaders were detained.

The protest to save Dharna Chowk has been going on for the past one month.



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| Edited by: Aditya Nair
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