Attempt to damage statue of Telugu leader Potti Sriramulu

October 29th, 2010 - 11:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Telangana Hyderabad, Oct 29 (IANS) Two unidentified people tried to damage the statue of Telugu leader Potti Sriramulu here Friday ahead of Andhra Pradesh formation day Nov 1, as groups fighting for separate statehood for Telangana have called for a boycott of the celebrations.

Police said two people tried to damage the statue at Potti Sriramulu at Telugu University in the heart of the city.

Quoting eye witnesses, the police said the attackers poured petrol on the statue and tried to set it afire. When the people present in the university premises raised an alarm, the attackers escaped.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (central zone) Akun Sabarwal told reporters that the statue was not damaged. The police registered a case on a complaint by the university registrar.

Ruling Congress party legislator and government whip Shailajanath condemned the incident and demanded firm action against the culprits.

The incident is being seen as an attempt to vitiate the atmosphere before state formation day as groups fighting for a separate Telangana have called for boycott of the celebrations and even threatened to disrupt these.

The Telangana Rashtra Samiti, Telangana Praja Front, all-party Telangana Joint Action Committee and Telangana leaders of the Congress party and the Telugu Desam Party have called for observing Nov 1 as “betrayal day” or “black day”.

They argue that celebrating Andhra Pradesh Day at a time when formation of Telangana was nearing would hurt the sentiments of the Telangana people.

It was on Nov 1, 1956, that Telangana, part of erstwhile princely state of Hyderabad, was merged with Andhra state to form a state for Telugu speaking people with Hyderabad as its capital.

Earlier on Sep 1, 1953, Telugu-speaking Rayalseema and coastal Andhra areas of Madras State were separated to form Andhra State with Kurnool as its capital.

This followed the death of Telugu leader Potti Sriramulu in December 1952 after a 56-day hunger strike to press the demand for a separate state for Telugus.

Potti Sriramulu is revered as ‘amarajeevi’ (immortal being) by Telugu-speaking people, especially in coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema.

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