YS Sharmila’s car was towed after she joined her party’s protest rally
Shocking scenes played out on Hyderabad’s streets today when a crane brought in by police towed away the car of YS Sharmila, Telangana politician and sister of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, while she still sat inside.
Ms Sharmila’s YSR Telangana Party has launched a padayatra against the K Chandrashekar Rao government, and she was briefly detained yesterday following a clash between her supporters and workers of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) in Warangal. Ms Sharmila’s padayatra, which has covered about 3,500-km so far, has targeted the KCR-led government, accusing it of corruption.
This morning, she joined the party’s protest rally to Pragati Bhavan, Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao’s official residence. Soon after she started in her car, police brought in a crane that dragged the vehicle through the city’s streets.
Visuals showed her sitting in the car as the crane dragged it and her supporters and mediapersons ran alongside. The visuals also show the cracked windshield of the vehicle, damaged in yesterday’s clash.
Yesterday, while speaking at Narsampet in Warangal, Ms Sharmila criticised local TRS MLA Peddi Sudarshan Reddy.
Her comments reportedly angered cadres from the KCR-led party, and they attacked her vehicle, sparking a retaliation by her supporters.
“Why are you arresting me? I am the victim, not the accused here,” Ms Sharmila was heard shouting yesterday when she and supporters were being taken away by the police.
Following the clash, state police “temporarily cancelled” permission for the padyatra and sent Ms Sharmila to Hyderabad with a police escort. A senior officer denied reports that she was arrested.
“For the past 223 days, me and my party leaders and representatives are holding a peaceful padyatra to highlight the plight of various sections of people in Telangana. “Our rising popularity has jolted Chief Minister KCR and his partymen, who want to stop me at any cost,” Ms Sharmila said yesterday.
Today’s police action against the Telangana politician comes on the heels of the row over the state police refusing permission for a padyatra by state BJP president Bandi Sanjay Kumar. Police said that it had refused to allow the march as it passes through a communally sensitive area.
Mr Sanjay then moved the Telangana High Court, which allowed the padyatra with the rider that it cannot enter the specific area flagged by state police.