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Foundation laid for Rs 426 cr steel bridges in Hyderabad


Under Strategic Road Development Programme (SRDP) aimed at easing traffic congestion in Hyderabad, foundation stone was laid on Saturday for two steel flyovers to be built at a cost of Rs 426 crore.

Municipal Administration and Urban Development Minister K.T. Rama Rao laid the foundation stone in the presence of Union Minister of State for Home G. Kishan Reddy.

Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) will build a four-lane bi-directional elevated corridor from Indira Park to VST (2.610 km) at a cost of Rs 350 crore.

A second level three-lane bi-directional flyover will be constructed from Ram Nagar to Baghlingampally (0.850 km) at a cost of Rs 76 crore.

Both the flyovers will be made of steel and will have steel piers, steel pier caps, and steel girders with cast in-situ deck slabs.

Rama Rao said though steel bridge works cost 20 to 30 per cent more, the government decided to build steel bridges as the works can be completed faster and avoid inconvenience to road users.

KTR, as the minister is popularly known, said the government was committed to build skyways up to a length of 36 km at a cost of Rs 5,000 crore.

Stating that the skyway works require defence lands, he urged Kishan Reddy to use his good offices to persuade the defence ministry to hand over these lands for road development.

KTR said during the last six years, the government undertook several road improvement works in Hyderabad. SRDP works were taken up at a cost of Rs 6,000 crore

He pointed out that due to less volume of traffic on the roads during the last four months because of the lockdown, the works were expedited. He said the work which would have taken 10 months was completed in two months.

The minister said that if Hyderabad is to be developed into a global city, traffic congestion has to be eased. “Realising this, on one hand SRDP was launched while on the other Hyderabad Road Development Corporation Limited was formed to take up new link roads and missing roads. Under an innovative initiative, comprehensive road maintenance programme, 710 km length of roads were given to private parties for maintenance.”

Kishan Reddy stressed the need for rising above politics and working together to improve road infrastructure in the city.

He said the population of Hyderabad was likely to grow further and hence there was a need for more roads and flyovers. Stating that investors are reluctant to go to Bengaluru because of the traffic problems there, the minister called for avoiding such a situation in Hyderabad.

Kishan Reddy called for speeding up the flyover work at Amberpet jointly undertaken by the Centre and the state government.

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2 Hyderabad jewellers’ corona deaths create panic among party guests


The death of two city jewelers due to coronavirus within five days has led to panic among around 150 people from various walks of life who attended a birthday party thrown by one of them in Hyderabad a few days.

A 63-year-old diamond jeweler who had organised the party for his relatives and friends two weeks ago succumbed on Friday. One of his guests, another city jeweler, had died earlier.

A leading politician from the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and 11 others who attended the party have since tested positive and are undergoing treatment at different hospitals.

As many as 150 people had attended the birthday bash hosted by the jeweller who owns a shop in Himayatnagar area. Many leading jewellers, politicians and prominent people from various walks of life were among the attendees.

Since many important personalities attended the party, the incident was kept a closely guarded secret.

According to sources in the Telangana Health Department, three days after the party, a jeweler, who was among the guests, developed COVID-19 symptoms and was admitted to a private hospital, where he tested positive. He succumbed on Monday.

Later, the host too developed corona symptoms. He died at a corporate hospital on Friday.

Telangana, especially Hyderabad, has been witnessing a massive surge in COVID-19 cases for the last 3-4 weeks.

The number of cases crossed 22,000, with 1,850 new cases on Saturday. Greater Hyderabad alone accounted for 1,572 cases.

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Hyderabad COVID patient sends heart-wrenching video before death


A heart-wrenching selfie video of a young COVID patient complaining of negligence by a state-run hospital in Hyderabad and saying goodbye to his father has gone viral over social media.

“Though I told them that I can’t breathe, they removed the ventilator. I am fed up. It’s been three hours, daddy. It’s like my heart has stopped beating. Bye daddy bye. Bye everyone,” said the man in the video.

According to the family of P. Ravi Kumar (34) he died soon after he recorded the selfie video on June 26 at government-run Chest Hospital, where he was admitted on June 24.

Ravi’s father P. Venkateshwarlu said they shared the video so that the world knows what’s happening in hospitals. “No other family should go through this ordeal,” he said.

The hospital authorities, however, denied that there was any negligence. They said he died of cardiac complications.

They said the patient was given medicines and put on supplementary oxygen but he developed heart related complications.

Hospital Superintendent Dr Mahboob Khan clarified that the patient was not put on a ventilator and hence was incorrect to say that it was removed. According to him, Ravi Kumar was suffering from a condition called myocarditis.

Hospital superintendent said this heart related complication is being observed in some younger patients infected by Coronavirus. Such patients die due to lack of oxygen supply to the heart.

The deceased is survived by his wife, a 12-year-old daughter and a nine-year-old son.

After working in Saudi Arabia for 10 years, Ravi Kumar had returned home two years ago and has been living with his parents.

Venkateshwarlu said his son started complaining of breathlessness on June 23. He took him from one hospital to another but no one admitted him. “We went to 11 hospitals but they refused to admit without a Coronavirus test,” he recalled.

The next day he took Ravi to a private lab and gave a sample for COVID-19 test. The same night his condition started worsening and his father took him to Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) but authorities there told him to go to Chest Hospital. He was finally admitted to that hospital.

Venkateshwarlu was staying in the hospital premises. He said his son sent him a selfie video late on the night of June 26. He watched this around 2.30 a.m. and went inside the ward but by then his son had breathed his last.

The next day hospital authorities handed over the body to the family and they performed the last rites. The report, which came later in the day, showed him to be COVID positive. Authorities quarantined his family members and were gathering information about 30 people who attended the funeral.

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Covid-19 drug priced Rs 5,400 per vial by Hyderabad-based Hetero

Covifor, the generic version of Covid-19 drug Remdesivir, will be available in India for Rs 5,400 per 100 mg vial, Hyderabad-based Hetero Labs announced on Wednesday.

Following the approval to Covifor by the Drug Controller General of India , Hetero Healthcare Ltd, a group company of Hetero, announced that it is set to deliver the first set of 20,000 vials.

They will be made available in two equal lots of 10,000 each. One lot will be immediately supplied to Hyderabad, Delhi, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra while the other lot will be supplied to Kolkata, Indore, Bhopal, Lucknow, Patna, Bhubaneshwar, Ranchi, Vijayawada, Cochin, Thiruvananthapuram and Goa within a week to meet the emergency requirements, the company said.

“Through Covifor, we hope to reduce the treatment time of a patient in a hospital, thereby reducing the increasing pressure on the medical infrastructure, overburdened currently due to accelerating Covid-19 infection rates. We are working closely with the government and medical community to make Covifor quickly accessible to both public and private healthcare settings across the country,” said M. Srinivasa Reddy, Managing Director, Hetero Healthcare.

Covifor is the first generic brand of Remdesivir which is indicated for the treatment of Covid-19 patients in adults and children, hospitalised with severe symptoms of the disease. The drug is available in 100 mg vial (injectable). It needs to be administered intravenously in a hospital, or critical care setting, under the supervision of a registered medical practitioner.

Covifor is anticipated to play a significant role in bringing down the mortality rates caused by Covid-19, given its proven positive clinical outcomes, the company added.

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Wildlife concerns rise after second fire in Hyderabad varsity campus


A major fire that broke out on the University of Hyderabad campus Wednesday night led to the death of several wild animals, students and wildlife activists said.

Students and the university security staff battled for two hours to douse the flames, which started simultaneously at three places, killing wild animals in an area of 8-10 acres.

The fire, the second in 15 days, left the students puzzled about its cause and they demanded that the university authorities immediately procure fire-fighting equipment and deploy security guards on the rocks to keep an eye on the trespassers.

A university official said the fire broke out at 9.30 p.m. near the boundary towards Nallagandla side. “About 20 security guards and 15-20 students reached and put out the fire by 11.15 p.m. with the help of portable fire extinguishers. A fire engine also was called from Gachibowli which helped in completely putting out the fire,” a university spokesman said.

When the place was inspected on the morning, it was found that some people were trying to cook inside the university as stones to balance the utensils and ashes were found at the site. It is suspected that some labourers from the Nallagandla side would have come inside the university to cook food, he said.

The university authorities said they were trying to procure additional fire-fighting equipment to tackle such situations.

Students say the central university witnesses 6-7 fires every year but the second incident in two weeks has raised concerns about the safety of wildlife.

“Last week, the first had burnt dry grass on 6-8 acres but this time it was a huge fire. It started from three points,” B. Rohit Kumar, a research scholar, told IANS.

He said he along with other students and activists saved two pythons. Many wild animals are believed to have perished in the fire.

He said they were puzzled by two fire incidents in 15 days. They suspect it could have been lit by cattle-herders who enter from outside and burn the old dry grass so that new grass grows in its place.

They said poachers could also be behind the fire incidents. Sometimes the students also light campfire but the recent incidents are not related to them.

“Every year the university is witnessing at least seven major fire accidents, which are causing lot of wildlife deaths and destroying valuable biodiversity,” said Dr Ravi Jillapalli, founder, Wild Lens, a group working to create awareness of the biodiversity on the campus.

He pointed out that in the past fire incidents damaged labs in Computer science, Life Sciences (Old building), and shelter sheds of construction labourers.

He said a security person and few students were injured in the fire caused by burning of a garbage dump a year ago. The then Assistant Registrar immediately proposed to purchase a fire extinguisher vehicle which was estimated around Rs 30 lakh, but the proposal was rejected by the administration.

He said a university with eminence and potential for excellence is struggling a lot to procure basic fire safety mechanism. “Is it really that difficult for a university with crores of funding to get a fire extinguisher vehicle and couple of fire fighters,” he asked.

A huge fire in February this year had burnt dry grass over 150 acres of land towards Gopichand Badminton Academy side.

The university campus spread over 2500-3000 acres is home to several rare species of bird and wild animals like spotted deer, wild board, monitor lizard and Asian palm civet.

Rohit Kumar said they were worried about the safety of the animals. The students had been demanding the university authorities procure the latest fire-fighting equipment so that the fire breaking out in deep forest area on the campus can be controlled.

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No fish ‘prasadam’ this year in Hyderabad due to Covid-19


The annual event to distribute fish ‘prasadam’ among asthma patients will not be held this year in view of the Covid-19 pandemic and ongoing lockdown.

The Bathini Goud family of Hyderabad on Sunday announced that the event, held in the first week of June every year, will not be organised this time.

Harinath Goud, the head of the family, said they decided not to distribute fish ‘prasadam’ this year, keeping in view the public scare due to coronavirus and the lockdown restrictions.

This is the first time in many decades that family will not be distributing the fish ‘prasadam’.

The Telangana government has already extended the lockdown till May 29. “Even if the lockdown is lifted, it will not be possible to follow the physical distancing norm and hence we decided not to organise the event this year,” Harinath Goud said.

He cautioned people against some fake messages being circulated in the name of Bathini family about fish ‘prasadam’ distribution.

Every year, the family distributes fish ‘prasadam’ to asthma patients on Mrigasira Karthi, which heralds the onset of monsoon and normally falls on June 7-8.

People suffering from asthma and other respiratory problems reach here every year from various states to received fish ‘prasadam’ from the family which claims to be distributing it free of cost for 175 years.

Last week, a NGO working for child rights had urged the Telangana government not to allow the annual event in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

Balala Hakkula Sangham had said the state government should not facilitate the event.

Reiterating that that the ‘fish medicine’ is unscientific, its BHS Honorary President Achyuta Rao said the state government should not facilitate the Bathini brothers in administering it.

Thousands of asthma patients from various parts of the country gather in Hyderabad to receive fish ‘prasadam’ (offering), as the medicine began to be called by Bathini Goud family a decade ago after rationalists challenged its efficacy.

Despite the controversies which hit its popularity in recent years, people continue to throng the venue in the hope of finding some relief to their nagging respiratory problems. However, the numbers have dwindled over the years.

The asthmatics gulp down a live ‘murrel’ fish with a yellow herbal paste in its mouth, which is believed to provide the much-needed relief, if taken for three consecutive years. For vegetarians, the family gives the medicine with jaggery.

The Goud family claims that the secret formula for the herbal medicine was given to their ancestors in 1845 by a saint after taking an oath from him that it would be administered free of cost.

Every year, various government departments make elaborate arrangements for the annual event held in Exhibition Grounds in the heart of the city.

The family had been distributing the fish medicine at their ancestral house in Doodhbowli till 1997 when the communal riots in the old city had forced it to shift the venue to Nizam College grounds. Subsequently, the government persuaded them to permanently shift the venue to Exhibition Grounds.

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Migrant workers in Hyderabad, Ramagundam stage protests


Migrant workers from various states staged protests in Hyderabad and Ramagundam on Sunday, demanding the authorities send them back to their homes.

About 1,000 workers belonging to Rajasthan, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh and living in Mehdipatnam and Toli Chowki areas in Hyderabad came out on the roads, demanding transport arrangements to their respective states.

They gathered at Toli Chowki flyover and when police tried to stop them, they sat on the road, raising slogans. The flash protests led to mild tension in the area.

Deputy Commissioner of Police A.R. Srinivas rushed to the scene and tried to pacify the protestors. He advised the migrant workers to approach their nearest police station and register their names and other details. He assured that the details will be forwarded to the government for making necessary transport arrangements. Following the assurance, the workers peacefully dispersed.

Meanwhile, migrant workers also staged a protest in Ramagundam town of Peddapalli district, demanding that they be sent back to their respective states.

The migrants working in the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) plant in Ramagundam sat on state highway Rajiv Rahadari. Hailing from West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh, the workers alleged that despite repeated requests the officials were not making any transport arrangements for them.

The workers had already registered their details at NTPC police station and since no action was taken on their request, they again reached the police station. As the police told them that it will take time for responding to their request, the workers numbering about 400 registered their protest by reaching the highway and staging a sit-in.

Ramagundam MLA Korukanti Chandar reached there and assured the workers that the transport arrangements will be made within two days. Following his assurance, the workers called off their protest.

Migrant workers in various parts of Hyderabad and surroundings and other districts in Telangana have been demanding that they be sent back to their respective states. Though the Telangana government is assuring them of supply of cooked food and all necessary help, the desperate workers are insisting on transport arrangements to carry them back to their native places.

There have been similar demands from several places ever since the Centre last week announced that the stranded migrants, students and tourists can return to their homes during the lockdown.

The first train for migrant workers in the country was operated from Lingampalli station near Hyderabad to Hatia in Jharkhand on Friday, carrying over 1,200 workers. They were all working as construction labourers at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Hyderabad at Kandi in Sangareddy district.

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IAF chopper showers petals on Hyderabad’s Gandhi Hospital


As a symbol of thanksgiving to medical professionals and others involved in fighting the coronavirus pandemic, a helicopter of the Indian Air Force showered petals on them at Gandhi Hospital and Medical College here on Sunday.

Flying over the hospital, Chetak helicopter showered the petals on doctors, nurses, other paramedical staff, sanitation workers and policemen who had gathered in the hospital premises for this rare honour.

Led by Gandhi Hospital superintendent Dr Raja Rao, doctors, nurses, technical staff, sanitation workers and police personnel in their uniform stood in front of the hospital building.

Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar and other senior officials were also present on the occasion.

The chopper, which took off from Indian Air Force Station, Hakimpet, showered the petals under the leadership and command of Group Captain K.S. Raju (Medical) and Group Captain Pankaj Gupta.

The state-run Gandhi Hospital is the state nodal centre for treatment of Covid-19 patients. About 500 people have been treated and discharged from this hospital while 560 are undergoing treatment.

Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar told media persons at Gandhi Hospital that showering of petals was a symbolic act to thank doctors, nurses, technical staff and safai karamcharis for their services as the frontline warriors in the war against Coronavirus.

“This is the salute by warriors protecting the country’s frontiers to those fighting for internal safety of the country. This battle has been going on for the last six weeks and everyone is busy fighting this battle 24×7,” he said.

He also thanked all police constables who are rendering valuable services in this battle. “They are performing their duties in 42 degree Celsius heat during day time and in dark and silent nights,” he said.

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Inter-Ministerial Team in Hyderabad to assess corona situation

As the number of positive cases neared 1,000 in Telangana, an Inter-Ministerial Central Team (IMCT) has reached Hyderabad on Saturday to take stock of the corona virus situation and monitor the lockdown process in the state. The central team is visiting the state in accordance with the Disaster Management Act.

Each team will have eight members including a senior public health specialist and a senior officer of National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). These teams will monitor hotspot areas, asess health infrastructure, disaster management and provide additional assistance to states. The task force team will review the hospitalisation facilities in the state, preparation of the state in terms of available beds, ramping up the number of hospitals and care centres dedicated to Covid-19 management.

The central team will review the facilities at the Gachibowli Covid-19 hospital, Gandhi Hospital and other medical facilities set up by the Telangana government. The team will assess the level of testing, availability of PPE and masks for health professionals, availability of oxygen beds, ICUs, number of surveillance teams. The team will submit a detailed report on the situation in the state following which a central plan of action will be suggested to further contain the virus. After the assessment, the team will issue necessary directions to the Telangana government for redressal.

The central government has already sent inter-ministerial teams to monitor certain hotspot districts in four states – Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal.

On Friday, 13 fresh cases of were reported in Telangana, taking the tally to 983. The number of active cases stands at 663. The virus has so far claimed 25 lives in the state.

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COVID-19: Hyd’bad students turn lifesavers for campus strays, wildlife


Amid the coronavirus pandemic, where empty campuses have resulted in stray dogs going hungry, a group of animal-lover students at the University of Hyderabad have taken it upon themselves to care for the hundreds of stray dogs and wild animals that have made the sprawling varsity campus their home.

The sprawling campus of UoH is also the habitat for nearly 200 species of birds, various mammals and reptiles. The food wastage of the hostel messes and garbage used to be the source of food for many stray dogs, wild boars and other wildlife.

Following the 21-day lockdown, most of the students left for their home, and the hostel messes too were closed. Some of the dogs began to foray into the wooded areas on campus in search of food, and hunt hares, wild boars and spotted deers.

Noticing the hunger pangs of the stray dogs and its impact on the wildlife in campus, a team of 30 students led by Rohit Kumar Bondugula, Research Scholar of School of Computer and Information Sciences at the UoH, joined hands with Pradeep Nair of Animal Warrior Conservation Society, to feed the stray dogs and wild animals inhabiting the university campus.

Speaking to IANS, Rohit Kumar said, “Normally 5,000 people stay on campus and now there are hardly 200 people here. The stray dogs were not getting food they normally got and started hunting the peacocks and other small animals on campus. We felt that by feeding the stray dogs we can prevent them from hunting the wildlife and thus protect them too.”

To avert the conflict between the stray dogs and wildlife, Rohit and Pradeep along with their team decided to feed the strays within their territories at different places in the campus. The teams arranged to provide cooked food for the stray dogs, and water bowls for the birds, along with vegetables and grass for the wildlife on campus.

The horticulture department, UoH Security and forest guards regularly fill strategically placed concrete tubs on campus, with water for spotted deers, wild boars and other wildlife on campus.

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Police beef up security at Hyderabad’s Gandhi Hospital


A posse of policemen in protective gear was deployed at government-run Gandhi Hospital here, where a majority of coronavirus patients are undergoing treatment, a day after an attack on doctors.

Two Covid-19 patients had attacked doctors on duty after the death of their relative who too was under treatment for the virus in the same ward on Wednesday.

The policemen deployed at the hospital could not enter the isolation ward earlier as they lacked personal protective gear like masks and suits.

The attack had sparked protest by doctors and paramedics who demanded protection. Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar visited the hospital to assure the doctors about security.

“Proud policemen deployed at Gandhi hospital for safety of doctors,” tweeted Anjani Kumar along with a picture of the policemen wearing masks and protective gear.

Meanwhile, the director of Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Adilabad has written to Superintendent of Police and District Collector to provide extra security for doctors and other hospital staff.

Due to alleged non-cooperative attitude of six men undergoing treatment, the hospital authorities fear an attack on doctors.

All six had attended Tablighi Jamaat meet in Delhi last month. At least 40 others who attended the meet from Adilabad have been kept at other quarantine facilities.

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HiTech city areas under red zone lockdown: Corona effect


The IT industry in Hyderabad is badly shaken after the COVID-19 threat. Regular foreign visits by software professionals have come as a big risk now. In the past three to four weeks, lots of IT professionals went abroad and returned. Most of such returnees are still untraceable. Amid this, +ve cases are being reported in Hyderabad, mostly in Gachibowli, Chandanagar, Kokapet and other places. This has put the KCR government on high alert. It classified the areas as red zones where infected persons are residing. Far higher restrictions are imposed to fight coronavirus disease here.

The general restrictions will be in force as part of Modi’s 21-day lockdown. In addition, the government is not allowing residents in red zone areas to come out of their homes even for buying groceries and vegetables. Everything will be supplied to their doorsteps. The officials have made workers available. Entry and exit is banned for both residents and their visitors. The streets are closed with the police keeping guard there.

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Protests in parts of Hyderabad over Delhi riots


Parts of Hyderabad on Friday witnessed protests against the Delhi Police for its alleged complicity in the violence in the national capital.

People staged the protests after Friday prayers, raising slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and the Delhi Police.

Youth coming out of the historic Mecca Masjid shouted slogans. The sloganeering sent the police into a tizzy briefly but the protestors peacefully dispersed. They were raising slogans like ‘Delhi Police down down’, ‘Modi teri tana shahi nahi chalegi’ and ‘Awaz do hum ek hain’.

Police had made massive security arrangements at the mosque and nearby historic Charminar to prevent any untoward incident. Large number of policemen and personnel from Rapid Action Force (RAF) were deployed in the communally sensitive old city in view of the possible protests against Delhi violence.

A similar protest was held outside Masjid Ujale-e-Shah in Saeedabad after Friday prayers. The protestors carrying placards and raising slogans tried to take out a rally but were stopped by the police. The protestors condemned the role of Delhi Police in the riots and demanded justice to the victims.

Earlier, dozens of Muslim women offered special prayers ‘Qunoot-e-Nazila’ at Eidgah Ujale Shah. They made special supplication in view of the current situation in the country, especially in riot-hit parts of Delhi.

Meanwhile, protests continued at Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) for a fourth consecutive day. Students took out a rally on the campus to condemn violence in Delhi.

MANUU Students Union President Uamar Farooq Quadri told IANS that they were continuing the protest, demanding action against the police personnel involved in targeting the Muslim community.

The protestors also demanded resignation of Home Minister Amit Shah. They also demanded that that Delhi BJP leader Kapil Mishra should be booked for sedition.

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Flash protests in Hyderabad against Delhi violence


Flash protests were held at few places here on Tuesday night, condemning the violence in Delhi and the alleged complicity of Delhi Police.

Candle-light protests were held at Toli Chowki, Seven Tombs Road, King Koti and Yakutpura.

Protestors including women raised slogans against Delhi Police, condemning their brutality. They were also carrying placards demanding withdrawal of the CAA, NPR and NRC.

However, police foiled a candle-light march on Neklace Road abutting Hussain Sagar lake in the heart of the city.

Some activists had called for the march to condemn Delhi Police’s brutality and right-wing violence. Large number of policemen were deployed in the area and the road was deserted even before 9 p.m.

Meanwhile, Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar had appealed to citizens to remain alert and united to see that no mischief maker tries to take advantage of the disturbing news from Delhi. “Our Patrol cars and Bike patrols are your closest friend. Don’t allow rumor mongering. Take pride in our beautiful city Hyderabad,” he said.

He also urged the national media not to show the disturbing visuals of Delhi riots. “It disturbs the mind of common peace loving people. These are testing times for all of us and we all have to work together and ensure that mischief makers do not take advantage,” he said.

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4 killed in wall collapse during wedding in Hyderabad


Four persons were killed and eight others injured when a wall collapsed at a marriage hall here on Sunday, police said.

The incident occurred at Pearl Garden function hall at Golnaka in Amberpet area when guests at a wedding ceremony were having lunch.

The injured were admitted to a hospital, where the condition of one of them is stated to be critical.

Two auto-rickshaws and six two-wheelers were also damaged in the incident. Rescue teams of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) launched the operation to clear the debris.

Locals said the function hall was re-opened on Sunday after renovation. Some people alleged that negligence by the management led to the tragedy.

The GHMC announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each to the families of the deceased.

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High Court notice to Govt on Swaroopananda land


The Telangana High Court issued notices to the Chandrasekhara Rao government for giving 2 acres prime land to Vizag Swamiji Swaroopananda at Kokapet near Hyderabad. The Swamiji paid just Re 1 per acre of this very costly land. Now, this has got into litigation. A person named Veerachari petitioned the High Court to cancel the land allotment saying that it was unconstitutional and against norms. Any government land should be given only in public interest matters like creation of employment or for old age people or for those who have track record in rendering public service.

But there is no provision as per government guidelines to allot land for setting up an ashram. The High Court admitted Veerachari petition. It has given notices to the KCR government to give its clarification. In recent times, the court has nullified many orders of the KCR Regime. With this, there are also doubts whether Swaroopananda land order will also meet the same fate. From the beginning, this land allotment has become controversially in Telugu states.

Meanwhile, Swaroopananda is also trying for land in Amaravati area for which he is lobbying hard with YCP leaders. The Swamiji was known for his unabashed statements in support of Jagan and KCR while making controversial remarks against their political opponents. He did yagnams for Jagan and KCR victories.

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Will BJP make Hyderabad a Union Territory?


The Modi-Shah duo are very serious about bringing the BJP to power in Telangana state in 2023 Jamili Election. This is crucial for gaining greater strength in entire south India in future. But CM KCR is standing like a big hurdle to their plans. BJP leaders are finding it difficult to polarise Hindu voters completely because of TRS. What then are BJP plans to somehow get a foothold?

Rumours are circulating that Modi is going to use the same ‘divide and rule’ logic that KCR used. If Hyderabad is separated from Telangana, it will finish two birds at one shot. The MIM will lose its hold if Hyderabad is declared as a union territory under direct control of the Union, just like Ladakh. The TRS control over the highest revenue earning Capital City will also be lost. Moreover, it will boost BJP image among lakhs of Andhra settlers there.

Amid these rumours, Ex MP Chinta Mohan shared his top secret news from Delhi political corridors. He said that after the coming Maharashtra election, the Centre is going to declare Hyderabad as a Union Territory without Assembly. Is BJP thus going to control Hyderabad and also gain power in residual Telangana state?

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No plan to make Hyderabad second capital: Minister


Union Minister of State for Home G. Kishan Reddy on Wednesday said there is no proposal by the Centre to make Hyderabad the second capital of the country.

He dismissed the reports in a section of media, saying the Centre mooted no such proposal. “Neither was any proposal made nor was the issue discussed,” he told reporters here.

The minister found fault with some television channels conducting debates on the issue. He remarked that the government does not take decisions on social media.

When asked about the reported move to shift Andhra Pradesh capital from Amaravati to some other place, Kishan Reddy said the Centre had nothing to do with the issue. “The issue comes under the purview of the state government,” he said.

On Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leader K.T. Rama Rao’s comment that BJP has no presence in Telangana, Kishan Reddy wondered how K. Kavitha lost the elections in Nizamabad.

Rama Rao’s sister Kavitha suffered poll defeat in Nizamabad Lok Sabha constituency to the BJP.

The BJP leader also took exception to Rama Rao’s comment about BJP working president J.P. Nadda. “He is saying he doesn’t know who Nadda is, then why did he meet him several times in Delhi?” the minister asked.

Kishan Reddy said instead of making such comment, Rama Rao should respond to the issues raised by Nadda like family rule in Telangana, lack of jobs and the promise to make Dalit a chief minister.

Rama Rao had made the remark while reacting to the allegations made by Nadda against TRS government at a public meeting in Hyderabad on Sunday.

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TRS dismisses rumours on Hyderabad Union Territory status


A rumour is doing the rounds in Telugu states that the BJP is planning to make Hyderabad a Union Territory in order to eliminate the Telangana sentiment advantage to CM K Chandrasekhar Rao. The BJP also has plans to develop Hyderabad as a permanent second capital of India so that the party can strengthen itself in the Southern states. The rumour has triggered so much speculation that the TRS government was forced to give its clarification.

Minister Talasani Srinivasa Yadav dismissed the rumour as baseless and politically motivated. There’s no such proposal in front of the Union government. Interestingly, Talasani said that their party MPs extended full support to the BJP govt at the Centre on the passage of Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Bill in the Parliament.

Analysts say that the Hyderabad public is discussing widely on Union Territory status just because their city has emerged as the fastest growing city in South India in the last two years thanks to booming IT industry. Moreover, Rashtrapati Nilayam is located in Bolarum in Hyderabad where the President visits and stays at least once a year. It has all the facilities for the President to conduct his official business.

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Ban on meetings, rallies in Hyderabad


Hyderabad police on Monday imposed a ban on meetings and rallies after the Union Home Ministry issued an advisory to all the states as well as Union Territories to put security forces and law enforcement agencies on maximum alert following the government’s decision to scrap Article 370 of the Constitution.

The ban was imposed under the limits of Hyderabad, Cyberabad and Rachakonda police commissionerates in and around the Telangana capital.

Cyberabad Police Commissioner V.C. Sajjanar said prohibitory orders have been issued on assembly of five or more persons in sensitive areas.

Telangana Director General of Police, M. Mahender Reddy informed all police commissioners and superintendents of police about the advisory over a video conference.

The commissioner said the security had been beefed up and all preventive measures were being taken to prevent any untoward incident.

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