Hyderabad: Lathi-wielding RSS men manning checkpoint

HYDERABAD: Photographs of lathi-wielding men of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) standing at a highway near Hyderabad and checking the identity of commuters have gone viral on social media, sparking a row.Many Twitter users posted the pictures to slam Telangana police and wonder if it has outsourced its job to RSS.

They urged the Telangana government and the police to clarify as to why the organization was given this power to patrol the highway and check documents of motorists.

Amjedullah Khan Khalid of Majlis Bachao Tehreek (MBT) on Sunday sought clarification from the Director General of Police.

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“Sir, Why are you silent on this issue of RSS workers with sticks manning police check post in Telangana, people are asking whether @TelanganaCOPs
also outsourced to #RSS….? Please break your silence,” tweeted Khan.

It was on April 9 that Friends of RSS from its Twitter handle posted pictures of baton-wielding RRS volunteers standing near a barricaded highway and checking the documents of the commuters.

“RSS volunteers helping the police department daily for 12 hours at Yadadri Bhuvangiri district checkpost, Telangana,” it had tweeted with the pictures.

https://twitter.com/friendsofrss/status/1248306555604201472?s=20

However, these photographs went viral on social media since Saturday with many netizens questioning Telangana police‘s action in allowing RSS men to do their job.

Rachakonda Police Commissioner Mahesh Bahgwat, however, clarified that no permission was given to RSS volunteers to man the checkpoints.

Bhagwat, under whose jurisdiction the RSS men were seen manning the checkpoint, confirmed that RSS volunteers did turn up on Thursday, but the policemen told them that the police will do its duty. He said no RSS worker turned up subsequently after the police’s request.

However, some Twitter users claimed that it was not an isolated incident. They posted pictures of Hyderabad Mayor Bonthu Rammohan presenting certificates to some RSS Bharathi volunteers.

Amjedullah Khan claimed that it was on April 1 that Tahsildar in Kamareddy town officially permitted RSS to work along with the civil supplies department to manage rice distribution. He posted pictures of emergency duty passes issued to RSS activists for the work.

The Telangana government on Saturday decided to extend the lockdown in the state till April 30. 

Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao told reporters that the state cabinet has decided to extend the lockdown as it felt that it is the only way to check the spread of Covid-19.

He said that after April 30, the government may consider lifting the lockdown in phases.

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