Telangana Congress leaders detained during protest over farm laws

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Hyderabad police detained leaders and workers of opposition Congress party as they tried to march towards Raj Bhavan on Tuesday to protest against the new farm laws enacted by the Centre and the hike in petrol and diesel prices.

State Congress chief Uttam Kumar Reddy and other leaders were stopped at Lumbini Park by the police who were deployed in large numbers to foil the protest march.

Expressing solidarity with protesting farmers and demanding rollback of hike in petrol and diesel prices, the Congress leaders marched from Assembly towards Raj Bhavan but the police stopped them near secretariat.

The protestors were also stopped on other roads leading towards Raj Bhavan. Police said there is no need for the protest. There was an argument between the police personnel and protestors and pushing and jostling between the two sides led to mild tension.

Uttam Kumar Reddy and other MPs Komatireddy Venkat Reddy and Revanth Reddy were detained. Senior leaders V. Hanumantha Rao, Ponnala Lakshmaiah, former central minister Balram Naik, Madhu Yaskhi Goud, Mohammed Ali Shabbir, Anjan Kumar Yadav, Jagga Reddy were also taken in preventive custody.

Later, talking to reporters Congress leaders condemned the arrests and alleged that the government is adopting undemocratic means to stop peaceful protests. They demanded withdrawal of all the three farm laws saying they would badly affect the farmers.

Uttam Kumar Reddy said the Telangana Assembly should pass a resolution against the farm laws. He questioned the silence of Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao over the issue.

Venkat Reddy alleged that Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) leader took a u-turn over farm laws. He said after strongly opposed the farm bills, Chandrasekhar Rao later colluded with BJP leadership.

The Congress leaders also condemned the state government’s decision not to procure agriculture produce in villages during Rabi season. They demanded that the government continue the procurement centres and ensure Minimum Support Price (MSP) to farmers.

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