VRAs lead massive Chalo Assembly rally, scores detained in Hyderabad

Scores of Telangana Village Revenue Assistants (VRAs) and others courted arrest here on Tuesday during a 'Chalo Assembly' protest called by seven groups


HYDERABAD: Scores of Telangana Village Revenue Assistants (VRAs) and others courted arrest here on Tuesday during a 'Chalo Assembly' protest called by seven groups to press for resolution of their long-pending demands. Thousands of VRAs, government teachers, fishermen and others descen, ded on the state capital since early morning before taking out a rally towards the Telangana Assembly.

A heavy posse of policemen stopped the rally at lower Tank Bund and took several protesters into preventive detention. The rally and the subsequent police action resulted in heavy traffic jam on the lower Tank Bund and the adjoining Telugu Thalli flyover as a sea of VRAs and other protesters marched their way towards the Assembly, which was in session. The VRAs, among others, have been demanding regular pay scales, which they claim, were promised to them two years ago.

The Chalo Assembly call given by the seven employee groups including VRAs, fishermen, government teachers and Reddy Community associations caused commotion in Hyderabad for some time. The police also resorted to lathicharge near the Assembly to control the protesters even as the state government decided to hold deliberations with the agitators. As part of it, Telangana Minister for IT and Municipal Administration Kalvakuntla Taraka Rama Rao (KTR) held talks with about 20 representatives of the protesting groups.

It is learnt that KTR, in a persuasive measure, appealed to the protesting groups to hold back their agitation and requested everyone to participate wholeheartedly in the Telangana Jatiya Samaikyatha Vajrotsavalu. The TRS government has called for these celebrations to espouse the cause of national unity on September 16, 17 and 18. KTR, during his talks, reportedly promised the representatives to meet once again on September 20 to thrash out the unresolved issues.

Earlier, the police, who sensed that there could be law and order issues, ordered closure of shops and business establishments between Pragathi Bhavan and Assembly as a precautionary measure. The prohibitive measure was also intended to ensure free passage of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao's convoy in view of the Chalo Assembly protest.

The VRAs, who kept trickling into the city since Monday night, began their rally to Assembly from Indira Park. The police acted swiftly and obstructed the VRAs rally on the lower Tank Bund road near the Ambedkar Statue Junction leading to a slight altercation. With the large number of protesters trying to breach the police cordon, several of them were taken into preventive detention. They were hauled into a waiting van and driven away from the area. Members of other employee groups including teachers also protested on the Telugu Thalli flyover demanding the state government to fulfill its promises made at the time of elections. The teachers want transfers and promotions to be begun in the state at the earliest.

In an apparent bid to diffuse the situation, the Telangana government responded to the VRAs' protests with Minister KTR holding a meeting with the VRAs in the Assembly Hall.

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