Guv summons city police chief on Old city violence

Amidst vociferous demand from all the Opposition parties for invoking Section 8 of AP Reorganization Act, Governor ESL Narsimhan summoned Hyderabad City Police Commissioner M. Mahender Reddy to apprise himself of the outbreak of violence in Old City during polling in the GHMC elections held on Tuesday.
It may be mentioned here that on the day of polling violence suddenly erupted in the Old City with Congress and MIM supporters coming to a clash in the presence of senior leaders of both the parties. In the incident TPCC president Uttam Kumar Reddy and Congress MLC Shabbir Ali were assaulted and even the former’s car was damaged. In this incident the MIM Hyderabad MP Asaduddin and MIM Charminar MLA Pasha Qadri were accused of instigating their supporters.
In another incident on the polling day, MIM leader in the Assembly, Akbarudding Owasi was also accused of assaulting a BJP poll agent. Another MIM MLA Balala was accused of attacking the residence of Deputy Chief Minister Mahmood Ali and assaulting his son.
The assault on the Congress leaders and BJP workers led to an all-party meeting convened by the Congress Leader of Opposition K. Jana Reddy wherein the MIM leaders were assailed for fomenting trouble and instigating dastardly acts. The all-party delegation also called on the Governor and submitted a memorandum demanding stern action against the MIM leaders, including the Owaisi brothers besides wanting the invocation of Section 8 as enshrined in the AP Reorganization Act.
As per the Act, in the event of breakdown of law and order, the Governor is empowered to invoke Section 8 to take control of administration of law and order in Hyderabad, which is the joint capital of both Telangana and AP States. As a matter of fact, the demand for invocation of Section 8 was made vociferously by the TDP leaders, including Chandrababu Naidu expressing threat to the life and properties of settlers in Hyderabad. This demand echoed specially in the wake of cash-for-vote episode that unfolded during the MLC elections last year in which TDP MLA Revanth Reddy was arrested on charges of trying to bribe Anglo-Indian nominated MLA Stevenson.
Though this demand subsequently fizzled out after Naidu and KCR cozying up with each other, the threat of breakdown of law and order in Hyderabad once again took the centre stage in the wake of the violent incident in Old City in the GHMC elections.
Thus the Governor’s action in summoning the City Police Commissioner in connection with the Old City incidents has assumed political importance. It is pertinent to note here that the TRS has been cozying with MIM for a post- poll alliance with an eye on the Mayor and Deputy Mayor posts of GHMC. As such, the ruling party may not like to ruffle the feathers of MIM by adopting a wait and watch policy regarding any action against MIM leaders in connection with the Old City incidents. It is also pertinent here that the Governor has been often criticized by the Opposition parties of being partisan towards the TRS. Hence the summoning of the Police Commissioner is being keenly watched. (NSS)