More than 50 Congress workers along with some Public Club committee members were taken into custody by the police on Tuesday. It happened after they allegedly tried to enter the district Public Club premises to hoist the National Flag.

The convenor of Public Club, K. Vena Reddy said, “We were not told why we were being arrested. The police just forced us into the vehicles and took 13 of us to Mellachervuvu station.”

According to the police, it had taken 13 members into preventive custody outside the Public Club in the morning and released them later.

On learning about the arrests, senior Congress leader Ramreddy Damodar Reddy staged a protest at the Gandhi statue in the town, condemning the behaviour of the police and demanding justice.

He asked, “Is it a crime to hoist the flag on the Independence Day? It is only injustice that is prevailing under the rule of this government. Minister Jagadish Reddy is behind all this police drama and we will approach the Human Rights Commission.”

The members later burnt the effigies of Minister for Energy and SC Development G. Jagadish Reddy amid strong sloganeering, leading to the police intervening and arresting another 50 Congress party workers. The protest only made things worse for the Congress party so to say.

The Public Club management committee was elected during the Congress rule and the committee members were close associates of Congress party leaders. The club was however closed after its documents were seized by the Revenue Department over alleged mismanagement and lapses in permission.

It was reopened in June after the court intervened, which also directed the Revenue Divisional officer to conduct a general body meeting to draw guidelines and conduct elections afresh.

The Public Club management was also in news in June 2017 for indulging in and permitting illegal activities. The high court had decided that the police was free to take necessary action whenever needed.

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