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Desecration of statues in AP sparks controversy

Last updated on: March 10, 2011 23:47 IST

Desecration of statues in AP sparks controversy

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Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad

Destruction of 16 statues of prominent leaders of coastal Andhra on Tank Bund in Hyderabad during Thursday's Telangana 'Million March' has turned in to a raging controversy with all the prominent political leaders joining hands to strongly condemn the incident.

Statues of several prominent historical figures hailing from coastal Andhra, including king Krishna Devaraya, Ranik Rudramma Devi, Sri Sri, Joshua, Annamayya, Siddhendra Yogi Prakasham Pantulu were damaged by some of the participants of the Million March on Thursday.

In the unprecedented destruction, which came at the fag end of the protest program in the evening, miscreants uprooted some statues and at least two of them, Annamayya and Erra Pragada, were thrown in Hussain Sagar lake in Hyderabad.

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Image: Telangana protestors desecrate a statue in Hyderabad during the 'Million March' on Thursday
Photographs: SnapsIndia
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The scale of attack on the media was also much bigger than earlier estimated. More than a dozen cameras belonging to six different TV channels were damaged and some of them were thrown in water.

The agitators were piqued by the 'biased and anti-Telangana reporting' by some of the channels, owned by 'people from Andhra.'


Image: Telangana protestors desecrate a statue in Hyderabad during the 'Million March' on Thursday
Photographs: SnapsIndia
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Desecration of statues in AP sparks controversy

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Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, the leader of opposition N Chandrababu Naidu, Praja Rajyam party leader Chiranjeevi, Bharatiya Janata Party leader M Venkaiah Naidu, Telangana Rashtra Samithi president K Chandrasekhar Rao and many others strongly condemned the vandalism.

But Socialist Joint Action Committee of coastal Andhra defended the damaging of statues saying it was a rightful indignation of the people of Telangana against the imposition of the statues of Andhra leaders on them.

"At least now the government should install the statues of Telangana figures at the Tank Bund", it said.


Image: Telangana protestors desecrate a statue in Hyderabad during the 'Million March' on Thursday
Photographs: SnapsIndia
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Chief minister Reddy, who reviewed the situation at a meeting with the home minister, chief secretary and director general of police said that the incident of damaging the statues was reprehensible and condemnable.

"It is unfortunate that the statues of the people who brought laurels to the nation, the country and the state were damaged," he said.

He also condemned the incidents of attack on the public representatives and the media. The CM said that the only reason for not allowing the 'Million March' was to avoid inconvenience to the people.

Chandrababu Naidu, while condemning the violence including the damaging of the statues, held the state government responsible for the incidents.

 


Image: Telangana protestors set fire on a statue in Hyderabad during the 'Million March' on Thursday
Photographs: SnapsIndia
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