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No space for dissent says TJAC’s Kodandaram, as Telangana cops foil ‘dharna chowk’ protest

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Videos show the police bodily lifting many activists and hauling them into trucks.
Image: Facebook/Telangana JAC
Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC) convenor M Kodandaram was detained by the Hyderabad police on Sunday morning, while he was campaigning to ‘save’ the city’s ‘Dharna Chowk’ near Indira Park.
The TJAC had organised a ‘2k run’ from Sundarayya Vignana Kendram to Indira Park.
The police swooped in on Sunday morning even as activists began their run, and detained several men and women.
Videos show the police bodily lifting many activists and hauling them into trucks, even as the protesters shouted slogans like against Chief Minister KCR.
Taking to Facebook after his detainment, Kodandaram said, “After they locked the place down, there is no more space for dissent in Hyderabad. There is no place where people can publicly air their grievances.”‘Dharna chowk’ near Indira Park in the heart of Hyderabad has been the venue of thousands of protests by political parties, people’s organisations, employees’ unions, students’ groups and others for over two decades.
The ruling TRS party has drawn a lot of flak after it decided to shift the venue to the city outskirts citing law and order issues, as the area was close to the secretariat.
Earlier this month, opposition parties in Telangana joined hands to complain to the Governor about the state government’s move.
Leaders of the opposition submitted a joint representation to Governor ESL Narasimhan, terming the government’s move an attempt to suppress the voice of dissent.
The opposition leaders alleged that Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao was acting in an autocratic manner and trying to suppress democratic rights.
They recalled that during the Telangana movement, KCR led protests in the heart of the city but was now trying to gag the voice of the opposition.

IANS inputs

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