Telangana Congress workers have taken to the streets after a sweep by cyber police at the party’s social media war room. Authorities raided the office of Congress’s chief poll strategist Sunil Kanugolu on the night of December 13 after they received five FIRs against the party for allegedly running derogatory content against chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao. The police also arrested three employees of the team whose whereabouts are still unknown, said sources.
Calling KCR “South Indian Hitler”, Congress leaders launched a two-pronged protest. While party workers protested against the high-handedness of the police in all mandals of Telangana, the party’s state unit chief Revanth Reddy and MP Uttam Kumar Reddy took the fight to New Delhi. They said that they would lay siege to the newly inaugurated Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) office in the national capital. Revanth addressed a press meet with Congress media and publicity department head Pawan Khera at the party headquarters in Delhi.
At the same time, Congress MP Manickam Tagore also raised the issue in the ongoing session of the Lok Sabha. “The House should give priority to discuss the atrocious attitude of Telangana Police who have arrested 5 people entering vehemently into the Telangana Congress war room in Hyderabad yesterday. The arrest was done on the basis of a FB post against CM Telangana without a search warrant or without any notice under 41A CRPC,” Tagore said in the motion notice.
Lashing out at the Telangana government, Revanth said that if KCR comes to power, it won’t be a “kisan sarkar” but “liquor sarkar”. “KCR’s family has an inextricable connection with liquor. His daughter Kavitha has been accused in the Delhi liquor scam. After the TRS came to power in Telangana, the state government’s income from liquor increased from Rs 10,500 crore to Rs 36,000 crore. KCR also bought some major media houses in Telangana to keep under his control and hence Congress is questioning the government on public issues with social media as a platform. State police have claimed that there is a conspiracy to topple the government, but how can they search Congress party war room without registering an FIR and without giving a notice?” he asked.
MP Uttam Kumar Reddy said that such actions cannot be supported in a democracy. “This is absolutely ridiculous, this is nonsense. Are we living in India or North Korea or Pakistan? Just for putting a post about K Kavitha’s involvement in the liquor scam, which is true, the police are hounding our people without any logic. We are going to raise it in Parliament, protest across Telangana, and will lay siege at the BRS office,” he said.
Mallu Ravi, the party’s Telangana unit senior vice president alleged that the raid was a cybercrime committed to steal the poll strategy of the Congress. “The police stole computers to get hands on the poll plans of strategist Sunil. The government knows that the people are in favour of the Congress and they want to know about the schemes we are going to implement,” he added.
Earlier in the day, Manickam Tagore had tweeted the “derogatory” content that led to the raids and challenged TRS to arrest him. The posters said: “Ab ki baar, liquor sarkaar”. One of them depicted TRS leaders embroiled in fodder scam.
All these developments took place while KCR was inaugurating the BRS office in New Delhi.
Calling the raids an attack on democracy, the Congress also filed a habeas corpus petition in the high court.
With inputs from News18