Hyderabad, Apr 14: A day ahead of the birth anniversary celebrations of Dr B.R. Ambedkar, GHMC workers removed a statue of the leader that was put up at Punjagutta without permission and allegedly dumped it at the Jawaharnagar dump yard using a lorry that transports trash. The statue broke along the way.
Incidentally, the statue was to be installed adjacent to that of late Chief Minister Dr Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy, which also does not have permission.
It all started a month ago, according to sources in the corporation. Dalit organisations had applied for permission to instal the Dr Ambedkar statue near Panjagutta circle, opposite the traffic police station and a popular mall in the city. It was to be unveiled on Ambedkar Jayanti on Sunday.
The organisation started installing the statue at about 2 am on Saturday. About at 4 am, the police intervened and informed GHMC officials that a statue was being installed by Dalit organisations without obtaining permission from the city level committee.
The corporation staff came to the spot, took away the statue and shifted it to Bhaskar Reddy Stadium in Yousufguda. Since the stadium was designated to store EVMs, the staff shifted the statue to a nearby garbage transfer station.
At about 6.30 am. the sanitation staff placed the statue along with garbage in a tipper to carry it to the Jawaharnagar dumpyard, sources said.
At about 7.15 am, when the tipper was on its way to the dump yard, a group of 40 persons stopped the vehicle at Kesara and demanded that the staff unload the statue.
While unloading, the workers dropped the statue which broke into several pieces. The pieces of the statue was carried in a different vehicle and dumped at the dump yard.
Asked about the incident, civic body officials came with a different version. A senior corporation official on condition of anonymity said that after removing the statue from the Punjagutta circle, the staff wrapped it with white cloth and kept it at the Bhaskar Reddy Stadium in Yousufguda to safeguard it.
However, visuals of the statue at the stadium do not show any cloth cover.
He acknowledged that the statue was removed in a garbage-carrying vehicle which was monitored till 6.30 am. He said the broken statue was washed with water and milk at Keesara before being wrapped in white cloth. He said that broken statue was handed over to the Jawaharnagar police.
Asked why the Rajasekhar Reddy statue was not removed though it also did not have permission, the official said it would be removed and the corporation would also identify and remove statues that do not have permission.
GHMC commissioner M. Dana Kishore called it an unfortunate incident and said an internal probe would be conducted by an IAS officer and action initiated against those found guilty. Mr Kishore said he would also seek the help of police to conduct the inquiry.