YSR Telangana Party (YSRTP) president Y S Sharmila was detained by the police at Tank Bund in the city on Friday when she squatted there to embark on an indefinite fast against the alleged denial of permission by the police to resume her “Praja Prasthanam” padayatra in Warangal district.
Accompanied by a host of YSRTP leaders, Ms Sharmila arrived at the busy Tank Bund where she symbolically submitted a memorandum to the statue of B R Ambedkar before staging a sit-in protest on the roadside.
Tense moments were witnessed when police tried to foil the sit-in protest as YSRTP cadre resorted to sloganeering, denouncing the move.
Women police shifted Ms. Sharmila into a waiting police vehicle and drove her away to her Lotus Pond residence in the city, sources said.
Ms Sharmila continued her indefinite hunger strike on the road at the entrance of the YSRTP office beside her residence for more than four hours.
According to YSRTP sources, she was forcibly removed from the road and shifted inside the YSRTP office by the police amidst utter chaos on Friday night.
The party sources claimed that Ms Sharmila and several other party leaders sustained injuries in the melee.
A high drama prevailed outside the YSRTP office when the police reportedly parked some police vehicles on the road at the YSRTP office blocking the entry of the party leaders into the office.
Y S Vijayamma, mother of Ms Sharmila, had to wait outside the YSRTP office for some time in her vehicle owing to the road blockade, sources added.
A visibly upset Ms Sharmila alleged that she was brought to the deeksha stage inside her party office forcibly while she was performing deeksha peacefully. “It’s my property and why should I be obstructed from deeksha,” she asked, vowing to continue her ‘Satyagraha’ till all the YSRTP cadre ‘detained’ by the police were released unconditionally.
“Women activists and leaders of my party were detained after 6 pm in violation of the law,” she alleged, demanding that a case be registered against the police ‘responsible’ for this.
Earlier, talking to the media, Ms Sharmila alleged that the K. Chandrasekhar Rao regime in Telangana was muzzling the voices of dissent against the “autocratic and corrupt rule.”
“Our padayatra is a mission to expose tyrannical rule and a platform for the hapless people to air their concerns and problems,” she said while referring to her 4000-km-long Praja Prasthanam padayatra.
She said, “The padayatra has never failed in maintaining camaraderie and peace, all along its 3500 kilometres of journey, adhering to law and order and within the democratic set-up.”
“There have been continuous attempts to scuttle the yatra and demoralize us,” she alleged. “If you are not scared of the changing public mood and growing strength of the YSRTP, then why these attacks? she asked.
All the promises made by the persons at the helm in the State from loan waiver to job notifications, minority reservation to double bedroom houses to zero interest loans, none of them was honoured by the KCR regime, she charged.
“Let KCR call a citizen’s forum and sit face to face with us and debate on what was done and what was not done,” said the YSRTP chief.