Hyderabad: The vandalism that was unleashed on the occasion of Million March on Tank Bund in which the statues of eminent historians, saints and poets were destroyed on Thursday rocked the State Assembly and forced repeated adjournment of the House amidst noisy scenes on Friday.
Describing the destruction of the statues and the attack of media personnel were unequivocally condemned by the members cutting across party lines as it had tarnished the image of Telugu culture and pride and the people of the State had bow down their heads in shame.
Soon after the Deputy Speaker, Mr Nadendla Manohar, disallowed two adjournment motions tabled by the Opposition about the incidents, the TDP members, including some from the Telangana region, raised slogans demanding an immediate discussion over the incidents.
There were heated arguments and verbal clashes between the TDP members and the Congress members from the Seemandhra region throwing the House into a pell-mell forcing the House to be adjourned within a few minutes after it assembled.
The TDP and Congress members continued to trade charges against each other with the latter accusing the former of adopting double standards as the party’s members had actively participated in the Million March. The TDP members in high pitched tones shouted that the government which had failed to prevent the “sacrilege” and destruction of public property has no right to continue.
Both the Congress and Opposition members, including two ministers from the Seema-Andhra regions and their counterparts from Telugu Desam wore black badges as a mark of protest over the destruction of the statues.
When the House reassembled at 9.40 am, the pandemonium in the House continued with the TDP members continued their protest at the podium by raising slogans. Interestingly, a few TDP members from the Telangana region, who were present earlier, were conspicuous by their absence when the House reassembled.
The Deputy Speaker pointed that the incident was very unfortunate and it had to be condemned by all. He felt that the members could express their view in a cool and calm atmosphere and appealed to the TDP members to restore order in the House. The Minister for Legislature Affairs, Mr D. Sridhar Babu, also appealed to the members to maintain order and pointed out that vandalism on Tank Bund and destruction of the statues of eminent persons deserved condemnation unequivocally.
When there was no respite to the ruckus, the Deputy Speaker invited all the Floor Leaders to his chambers for discussion before adjourning the House for second time at 9.45 am.
After nearly a break of 70 minutes, the House reassembled at 11.55 am and the Deputy Speaker announced the postponement of the questions listed for the day and asked the Minister for Horticulture to move the A.P. Horticultural University (Amendment) Bill, 2011 and even as the Minister was moving it, the TDP members loudly protested demanding the Home Minister to make a statement on yesterday’s incident on Tank Bund.
When the Home Minister, Ms P. Sabita Indra Reddy, stood up to make the statement, the MIM Floor Leader, Mr Akbaruddin Owaisi, observed that the views of all sections of the members, including those from the Telangana region should be heard as “one-side version in the absence of the Telangana members would send a wrong message to the people” . He appealed to the Congress and TDP members from Telangana as well as TRS members to attend the House and participate in the discussions and express their point of view.
The Home Minister then made a lengthy statement listing various steps initiated by the government in connection with the Million March. Detailing the security measures taken up by the police and preventive arrests that have been made, she narrated the sequence of events that unfolded on Tank Bund and that 4,000 agitators broke the police barriers and damaged 16 out of 33 statues, set a police vehicle on fire and damaged video cameras and burnt one OB van of the media besides damaging many other properties. Eight police officers were attacked and injured apart from public representatives and media personnel, she explained.
The Home Minister said that the police exercised maximum restraint and to control the situation tear gas and lathi-charge were resorted . Cases were registered in connection with the incidents and action as per law would be taken, she added. (NSS),