HYDERABAD — The movement for separate statehood of Telangana took an ugly turn and in the national capital to boot when a visibly enraged T Harish Rao, Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) and a key leader in the movement, repeatedly punched a hapless employee of the AP Bhavan in New Delhi on Thursday.
The incident, which occurred in full media glare, was triggered by the decision of the Resident Commissioner of the Andhra Pradesh government in Delhi to shift the body of Yadi Reddy, a youth from Telangana who committed suicide in the national capital on Wednesday straight to the airport to be taken to Hyderabad.
Yadi Reddy, a 28-year-old youth hailing from Ranga Reddy district, ended his life by hanging himself from a tree behind Krishi Bhavan in the vicinity of Parliament. He left a suicide note stating that he was committing suicide since he was upset by the delay in carving out a separate state. Harish Rao, who is the nephew of TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao, accompanied by other party leaders including K T Rama Rao (son of KCR), Etela Rajender and former MP B Vinod Kumar came to Delhi to take the body of Yadi Reddy.
The TRS leaders and Telangana Congress MLAs, MPs and ministers were apparently given an assurance that the body would be first brought to AP Bhavan to allow Telangana protagonists to pay floral tributes. AP Bhavan officials, however, took the body straightaway to the airport from the hospital after the post-mortem was conducted.
This angered the Telangana leaders, who staged a dharna in front of the AP Bhavan. They gatecrashed into the Resident Commisisoner’s office and argued with the officials asking them why they had not brought Yadi Reddy’s body into the AP Bhavan. Harish Rao, in a fit of rage, began throwing punches at the Officer on Special Duty, Chandra Rao. He also spoke to the Resident Commissioner and demanded an explanation.
Upset by the incident, the employees of AP Bhavan later boycotted their duties and squatted outside the office, protesting against attacks on the employees of the Resident Commissioner by the TRS leaders.