Was Secunderabad station violence pre-planned?
Was Friday's violence at Secunderabad railway station during the protest against the Central government's new army recruitment scheme 'Agnipath' pre-planned? Did the intelligence failure led to the riotous mob virtually taking control of the station?Author : Rakesh Behal
These questions are being debated in political circles after hundreds of youth from various districts of Telangana gathered and went on a rampage, burning trains, vandalising the station, setting afire cargo and resorting to heavy stone pelting on police personnel.
The firing by police to control the situation claimed a life and some others were injured. Even after this, the protestors continued their sit-in on the railway track for several hours.
The sequence of events raised a question if the violence was pre-planned. It came a day after similar incidents in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and other states on the same issue. Violence was also witnessed in Hyderabad on Thursday during Congress protest march to Raj Bhavan against the "harassment" of their leader Rahul Gandhi by the Enforcement Directorate.
The way more than 1,000 protestors barged in and targeted the railway property indicate that they came with a clear plan. There are reports that the protestors reached Hyderabad from their respective districts on Thursday night. The gathering was ensured reportedly through WhatsApp groups created by aspirants of army jobs in different districts.
While Union Minister G. Kishan Reddy, who is a member of Lok Sabha from Secunderabad constituency, raised doubts over the political involvement in the violence, state BJP chief Bandi Sanjay went a step ahead to blame the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and the Congress.
Kishan Reddy, who met Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Delhi to apprise him of the situation, later demanded that the state government conduct a probe and find out if the violence was pre-planned.
He wondered how the intelligence machinery and police were unaware of the gathering of a large number of protestors. He also questioned the delay in timely action by the police after the protestors barged into the railway station.
The minister also alleged that a day before violent incidents took place during Congress' protest. He remarked that this would not have been possible without the state government allowing it.
Bandi Sanjay, who is also a MP from the state, alleged that the violence was part of the conspiracy by the TRS, the MIM andthe Congress. He said the violence was pre-planned. "What were the police and intelligence doing when such a large number of protestors had gathered," he asked and remarked that Telangana needs a bulldozer government.
The TRS leaders rubbished the allegations by the state BJP chief. State minister Vemula Prashant Reddy said Sanjay's allegation shows his ignorance. "Who is behind the violence in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh?" he asked.
The minister said the country was facing disharmony and insecurity due to leaders like Sanjay. He alleged that riots were taking place across the country due to vote bank politics of BJP.
Another minister S. Niranjan Reddy said it was due to the policies of the BJP government at the Centre that youth have taken to streets. "Yesterday, farmers had come on streets to oppose black laws and today youth are protesting," he said.