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Congress leaders heat up Mallanna Sagar issue

Hyderabad, July 29: Leaders of Opposition K. Jana Reddy (Assembly) and Mohammed Ali Shabbir (Council) were arrested by the Medak police on Friday morning.

The Congress leaders had planned ot visit Yerravalli, Pallepahad and Vemulaghat villages of Medak district to interact with the outsees of Mallanna Sagar project. However, they were taken into custody at Vontimamidi village on Medak border on Friday morning. Later, they were shifted to IDA Bollaram police station. Strongly protesting against their arrest, the Congress leaders refused bail. They said that the police should either allow them to meet the outsees of Mallanna Sagar or send them to jail.

“As the Leaders of Opposition, we have every right to visit any place in the State and meet anyone. But the TRS Government is behaving in a dictatorial manner and misusing police to suppress our rights. Our arrest clearly shows that the State Government was forcibly acquiring lands from farmers and it fears that the victims would speak out truth if we meet them. We will not return unless we interact with affected farmers,” Shabbir Ali told reporters.

Meanwhile, acting on a lunch motion petition moved by former Deputy Chief Minister Damodar Rajnarasimha and ex-minister Sunitha Lakshma Reddy, the Hyderabad High Court has permitted them to visit all the villages which would be submerged due to Mallanna Sagar. “Since the High Court has permitted our party leaders to visit the Mallanna Sagar villages, we are withdrawing our protest at the police station. We thank the Honourable High Court for protecting our democratic rights,” said Shabbir Ali after coming out of IDA Bollaram police station on Friday night.

He said that the Congress leaders would now visit all the affected villages to interact with the farmers and other villagers. He said that the TRS Government has been suppressing the fundamental rights of people and their elected representatives. He reiterated that the government should pay compensation as per Land Acquisition Act, 2013 only and Congress party would not allow a single person to suffer due to GO MS 123 which should be withdrawn.

Earlier in the day, TPCC Working President Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, PAC Chairman Dr. J. Geetha Reddy, MLAs P. Ramohan Reddy and G. Chinna Reddy, MLCs Ponguleti Sudhakar Reddy, M. Ranga Reddy and Damodar Reddy and several leaders visited the IDA Bollaram police station to express their solidarity with the arreted leaders.

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