The Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) and its allied groups, spearheading the Telangana statehood demand, have received flak from people in Telangana and other parts of the state for vandalising statues on the tank bund in Hyderabad on Thursday.
Thousands of Telangana activists who had assembled on the tank bund as part of million march call given by the Telangana joint action committee (JAC) vandalised at least 20 statues of personalities considered to be Telugu icons.
The activists uprooted the statues of personalities who belonged to Andhra and Rayalaseema and threw them into the Hussain Sagar lake within two hours.
Though the investigation into the incident is still on, sources said that the activists had carried huge hammers and ropes along with them onto the tank bund to uproot the statues. “It was an act with a proper planning and preparation. Efforts are on to identify the people behind the act,” a source said.
“The destruction of statues on the tank bund has hurt sentiments of all the Telugus. It is definitely sending wrong signals about the Telangana movement,” G Jagan Babu, president of the Maharashtra Telugu Manch (MTM), said.
The intellectuals in Telangana too did not like the act. “The uprooting of the statues is a definite set back to the movement.
Though the act had excited people in the districts of Telangana, it has sent wrong signals to the world about the course of the movement,” professor Kakatiya University Vijay Kumar said.
Balladeer Gadar too condemned the act, however, he said that the leaders and people of Andhra and Rayalaseema should also have reacted when people demanding statehood to the Telangana committed suicide.
“About 600 people committed suicides in Telangana in the last one year. No one from Andhra and Rayalaseema sympathised with the situation. Now, the leaders are all condemning the destruction of statues, which can be erected again. Still, I am not supporting the destruction and it should not happen again,” he said.
Chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy said that the government would expeditiously work on erecting the statues again. “We had information that there would be some violence during the million march. We will ensure that the statues are erected on the tank bund,” he said.