Shocking scenes played out on a main road in Hyderabad today when a tow truck brought by the city police towed away the car of YS Sharmila, sister of Telangana politician and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, with her still sitting inside.
There was more drama at the police station where Ms Sharmila was taken as she refused to get out of the car and a locksmith had to be brought in to open the door of the SUV.
Ms. Sharmila’s mother, YS Vijayalakshmi, was placed under house arrest when she tried to meet her daughter at her home in Hyderabad.
Ms Sharmila, leader of the YSR Telangana party, was briefly arrested in Warangal yesterday following a clash between supporters and workers of the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi.
This morning, he got into the driver’s seat of one of the cars damaged in yesterday’s clash and tried to go to Pragati Bhavan, the official residence of Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao.
The visuals showed him sitting in the car as the crane dragged him away and his supporters and mediators ran to the side. The visuals also show a crack in the windshield of the vehicle, damaged in yesterday’s clash.
A statement from her party said Ms Sharmila had marched to the chief minister’s residence “in protest and condemnation of the bloody attacks by TRS militants on her and party activists yesterday during the Padayatra in Warangal district”.
Ms. Sharmila was accompanying a caravan that was heavily damaged in yesterday’s clash, when the Hyderabad police stopped her and took the vehicle to the SR Nagar police station.
Yesterday’s clash took place at Narsampet in Warangal, one of the stops on the padyatra launched by Sharmila’s YSR Telangana Party. Having traveled 3,500 km so far in March, Ms. Sharmila has repeatedly hit out at the KCR-led government, accusing it of massive corruption.
On Sunday, while speaking in Narsampet, he criticized local TRS MLA Peddi Sudarshan Reddy. His comments reportedly angered KCR-led party cadres, who attacked YSR Telangana Party vehicles, sparking retaliation from its supporters.
“Why are you arresting me? I am the victim, not the accused here,” Ms. Sharmila was heard shouting yesterday as she and her supporters were being led away by the police.
After the clash, the state police “temporarily suspended” permission for the padyatra and sent Ms. Sharmila to Hyderabad with a police escort. A senior officer denied that the party official had been arrested.
“For the last 223 days, I and my party leaders and representatives have been conducting a peaceful padyatra to highlight the plight of various groups in Telangana. “Our rise in popularity has upset Chief Minister KCR and his party members, who want to stop me. at any cost,” Sharmila said yesterday.
Today’s police action against the Telangana politician comes after a row after the state police denied state BJP president Bandi Sanjay Kumar permission for the padyatra. Police said they refused to allow the march as it passed through a sensitive communal area.
Mr. Sanjay then moved the Telangana High Court, which ruled that he could not enter the specific Bhainsa area marked by the state police with the padyatra pilot.