Hyderabad police stops BJP from hoisting national flag

Tension prevailed at the Golconda Fort here Wednesday as police arrested some activists of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) trying to hoist the national flag to celebrate Telangana Liberation Day.

Hyderabad: Tension prevailed at the Golconda Fort here Wednesday as police arrested some activists of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) trying to hoist the national flag to celebrate Telangana Liberation Day.

Police prevented BJP workers from entering the fort with the national flag. The arrested workers were shifted to a police station.

Tension also prevailed at Bapu Ghat in Langar Houz as large number of BJP leaders and activists led by party's Telangana unit president G. Kishan Reddy gathered there to march towards the fort. As the police stopped them, they squatted on the road.

Holding the national flag, the protesters raised slogans against the government and demanded that they be allowed to proceed towards the fort.

In Warangal town, the BJP leaders managed to hoist the flag at the historic Warangal fort.

There was also tension at Karimnagar district collector's office as police stopped Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) from unfurling the national flag on the building.

The Telangana government has denied permission to the BJP to unfurl the national flag at Golconda Fort. The police have barred entry into the fort and erected barricades to foil any attempt by the BJP workers.

Kishan Reddy wanted to unfurl the national flag at the fort, where Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao hoisted the tricolour on Independence Day.

Kishan Reddy, who hoisted the national flag at the BJP office in the morning, said it was unfortunate that he was denied permission for doing the same at the Golconda Fort.

The BJP leader alleged that TRS has gone back on its promise to officially celebrate Telangana Liberation Day out of fear of hurting its ally Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM).

"KCR should decide whether he wants razakars or people of Telangana," said Kishan Reddy.

It was on this day in 1948 that then princely state of Hyderabad merged with the Indian Union following the police action, as the Indian military operation against Nizam's army and his razakars' (volunteers) is called.

This is the first Telangana Liberation Day after formation of separate Telangana state. The TRS government, however, has rejected the demand of the BJP and the communist parties to officially celebrate the day.

The BJP and the left parties point out that the day is celebrated officially in some districts of Karnataka and Maharashtra which were part of the Hyderabad State.

The chief minister pointed out that no government in the past celebrated the day officially. He, however, said the TRS would celebrate the day.

As in the past, TRS leader N. Narasimha Reddy, who is now the home minister, hoisted the national flag in Telangana Bhavan, the party headquarters.

Speaking on the occasion, he praised Nizam for not coming under pressure to keep Hyderabad as an independent state. "We should thank him for merging Hyderabad State with India," he said.

The home minister said Sep 17 is a historic day as it marked the beginning of people's rule.

Congress party's Telangana unit president Ponnala Lakshmaiah unfurled the national flag at Gandhi Bhavan, the party headquarters.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu hoisted the flag at Telugu Desam Party (TDP) office. He paid tributes to those who laid down their lives for the merger of Hyderabad State.

Communist Party of India (CPI) and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) also celebrated the day.

Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC), which fought for separate Telangana state, has called upon people to observe it as merger day and not to see it in a communal angle.

MIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said some forces were trying to distort the Deccan history and make Sep 17 an issue to spread communal hatred.

The Hyderabad MP said Nizam VII was a secular ruler who extended financial aid to many Hindu temples.

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