Andhra Cong chief Sharmila detained for 3 hours on way to secretariat

Sharmila claimed she and Congress leaders were illegally arrested when they set off for the secretariat to submit a representation

Y.S. Sharmila in a police vehicle at the time of her detention (photo: PTI)
Y.S. Sharmila in a police vehicle at the time of her detention (photo: PTI)


Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee president Y.S. Sharmila was detained on Thursday on her way to the secretariat in Guntur district, along with party leaders and activists, as part of the 'Chalo Secretariat' protest walk to submit a representation, a police official said.

Guntur district superintendent of police Tushar Dudi told PTI that Sharmila was briefly detained. "Sharmila and other Congress leaders were detained for about three hours and let off. Police detained us near Undavalli at the entrance of the riverside road leading to the secretariat," APCC vice-president K. Sivaji said. Sivaji said police moved the detained leaders to Mangalagiri rural police station and took their signatures.

Sharmila claimed that she and Congress leaders were illegally arrested when they set off to the secretariat to submit a representation demanding a mega District Selection Committee (DSC) teacher recruitment notification but not a 'deceitful one'.

"Political power is not permanent, remember that. There is no freedom in our state to even submit a representation. It seems there is nobody in the secretariat to receive the representation. The CM doesn't go there, ministers are absent and officers also don't go. This is proof enough to say that they don't know how to rule," Sharmila said in a post on X.

Earlier on Thursday, around 40 Congress activists were arrested in Vijayawada for blocking traffic and raising slogans as part of the planned protest walk to the secretariat, against the recent DSC notification to recruit teachers.

"We have arrested around 40 people (Congress activists) for obstructing traffic and raising slogans on Eluru Road. We have removed them," Vijayawada South deputy commissioner of police B. Ravi Kiran told PTI.

The APCC had called for a 'Chalo Secretariat' protest walk today from its office Andhra Ratna Bhavan in Vijayawada in NTR district to the secretariat in Guntur district.

Sharmila said the YSRCP government — led by her estranged brother chief minister Jagan Mohan Reddy — was making arrests when the Congress party was standing by unemployed people. She demanded that the government apologise to the unemployed as it had reportedly promised 23,000 jobs but notified only around 6,000 in the DSC notification.

"Under the autocratic rule of YSRCP, arrests are being made when questions are being posed about the deceitful DSC. Thousands of police have been deployed around us with barricades, giving an impression that we are captives," Sharmila said in her post.

Addressing a press conference in Vijayawada before setting off for the secretariat, she noted that police have been on high alert for the past two days to restrict Congress leaders and activists ahead of the proposed protest walk.

"What is our mistake? What is our sin? Are we thieves or bandits? What is the need for the government to restrict us? If you (YSRCP government) have really performed well then why are you fearing a protest from us?" asked Sharmila, who stayed overnight in Andhra Ratna Bhavan to avert police restrictions.

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