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MPs prevented from hoisting flag at Telangana memorial

Monday August 15, 2011 03:52:50 PM, IANS

Hyderabad: Police prevented Congress MPs belonging to Andhra Pradesh's Telangana region from hoisting the national flag at the Telangana martyrs' memorial here on Independence Day Monday.

The MPs, state legislators and other leaders paid tributes at Gun Park, in front of the Andhra Pradesh state assembly building, to people who laid down their lives for a separate Telangana state. They wanted to unfurl the national flag and also the flag of Telangana, but police prevented them from doing so.

The leaders stood there for some time with the flags in their hands and raised slogans of "Jai Telangana".

The MPs reacted sharply to the police action.

"I don't know if the policemen raised objections or the government is behind this. Whoever raised objections, they are criminals because they stopped us from hoisting the national flag," said Rajya Sabha member K. Keshava Rao.

Telangana had its echo in the Independence Day celebrations in Andhra Pradesh, with groups fighting for a separate Telangana state hoisting Telangana flags along with the national flag. At some places, they also tried to disrupt the official functions, taking exception to the presence of ministers.

The Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) had asked the ministers of the Congress party not to participate in the official functions.

Rebel legislator of Telugu Desam Party (TDP) Nagam Janardhan Reddy created a flutter at the state assembly when he raised slogan of "Jai Telangana" as assembly Speaker N. Manohar was hoisting the national flag.

Another rebel TDP legislator Jogu Ramanna was arrested by the police when he tried to disrupt the main official function being attended by state Minister Basvaraj Saraiah in Adilabad town. Tension prevailed at the police parade ground when Telangana supporters raised slogans of "Telangana traitor" by blocking the minister's convoy.

In Karimnagar, police snatched national flags from JAC activists and arrested them when they tried to hoist the tricolour and Telangana flags.

Police arrested leaders and activists of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) in Warangal as they were reportedly planning to disrupt the main official function.

TRS leader N. Narasimha Reddy hoisted the national flag and also Telangana flag at Telangana Bhavan, the TRS headquarters in Hyderabad.

Meanwhile, Congress MP from Andhra region L. Rajagopal said hoisting of another flag with the national flag was unconstitutional and amounted to insulting the tricolour.

"There is only one flag for the entire country. No state has a flag of its own," the MP from Vijayawada said. He alleged that TRS was trying to stoke separatist feelings among the people of Telangana.





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