Kamareddy farmers move Telangana HC against draft master plan; eerie silence in town

On Friday night, the situation got out of control when Bandi Sanjay Kumar, BJP party workers and farmers stormed the Collectorate again.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jan 07, 2023 | 7:24 PMUpdatedJan 07, 2023 | 7:24 PM

A case has been registered against BJP state president Bandi Sanjay Kumar and others. (BJP Karnataka/Twitter)

On Saturday, 7 January, farmers in Kamareddy filed a petition in the Telangana High Court against the inclusion of their lands in the draft master plan, even as an eerie silence prevailed in the town all day.

Tensions had peaked on Friday night following the arrest of BJP state president Bandi Sanjay Kumar and a few others who tried to force their way into the District Collectorate to protest against the master plan.

The farmers, alleging that they had not been consulted at the time of preparing the master plan, sought the intervention of the court.

The petition is likely to come up for hearing on Monday.

Many more farmers are expected to implead in the petition or file separate petitions in the high court.

Much ado about nothing?

Even as farmers continued their agitation for the third day on Saturday against the inclusion of 2,170 acres of land in the industrial zone, District Collector Jitesh Patil told reporters that the farmers were getting agitated without any valid reason.

“The farmers should understand that the master plan is in the draft stage. It has not yet been finalised. Before its finalisation, farmers will be taken into confidence. They should not panic if they find their lands in the industrial zone,” Patil said.

“We have received 1,028 objections on the draft and there is time till 11 January for the farmers to file their objections. The government will take into consideration their fears and objections before taking a final decision.”

Also Read: Kamareddy bandh, opposing town master plan, passes peacefully

The Kamareddy collector said that the farmers’ fears are unfounded as the administration is preparing the master plan in accordance with the guidelines that were prepared after taking into consideration the concerns of the farmers. Just because a zone has been notified, it does not mean that farmers will lose their lands, he said.

The collector said that some people are inciting the farmers against the government by stoking a fear psychosis in them. He warned that if anyone caused damage to public property in the name of agitation, stern action would be taken against them.

Opposition’s stand

On Friday night, the situation got out of control once again when BJP state president Bandi Sanjay Kumar, party workers and farmers tried to storm the collectorate, leading to a scuffle after a relatively peaceful bandh earlier in the day.

Bandi Sanjay led a rabble who ran amok, removing barricades at the collector’s office. Some BJP workers tried to scale the gates of the collector’s office compoud, while the BJP state president stayed put at the gate, refusing to move until the collector made a statement on the master plan.

When he did not relent, the police detained him and few other BJP leaders. Later, they took Bandi to Hyderabad.

Prior to laying siege to the collector’s office, Bandi Sanjay commiserated with the family members of Payyavula Ramulu, who ended his life at Adluru fearing that he would lose his land once the master plan is finalised.

Speaking to party workers virtually to prepare them for the Assembly elections on Saturday, he told them not to fear the police as more such attacks would happen under KCR’s rule.

He told them if they worked hard, the BJP would capture power in the state.

Meanwhile, the Congress also joined the issue with party workers agitating in Kamareddy on Friday and Saturday.

TPCC President A Revanth Reddy on Thursday itself demanded the scrapping of the draft master plan and wanted a fresh plan prepared after consulting the farmers.

He blamed Municipal Minister KT Rama Rao and the district collector for the situation turning volatile in Kamareddy. He said that the Congress would stand by the farmers until justice is rendered to them.

Case against BJP state president

Meanwhile, Kamareddy district police registered a case against Bandi Sanjay Kumar and eight others for assembling unlawfully at the Kamareddy District Collectorate on Friday night and obstructing police constables from discharging their duty.

In his complaint, Sub-Inspector Darla Uday Shekar said he has been working at Kamareddy Collectorate office for the last three years. As usual, on Friday, he and around 30 police personnel were performing their duty when Kumar and his party supporters assembled unlawfully and raised slogans against the Kamareddy town master plan.

They came to the office without any permission and pushed the police officers on duty aside and obstructed their duties. They also beat an armed reserve police constable, resulting in injuries to him.

They pushed the barricades aside and while bringing the BJP leaders out of the office, they damaged the Devanpally police patrolling vehicle.

Based on a complaint lodged by Sekhar, the Devanpally police booked a case against Kumar, former MLA Y Ravinder Reddy and others under Sections 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees), 341 (punishment for wrongful restraint), 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation), 143 (unlawful assembly), 147 (punishment for rioting) and 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon) of Indian Penal Code.