Hyderabad : A day after RSS volunteers were spotted manning a check-posts under Rachakonda police limits and ration shops in different districts of Telangana, sans police permission. Ruling TRS (Telangana Rashtra Samithi) party cadres hit the roads of Mancherial district, to check on lockdown violations. This time too without permission. Images of TRS workers (as claimed) patrolling the streets with lathi (sticks) along with Mancherial police have surfaced on social media.

Many went hammer and tongs, against the Telangana police for allowing volunteers connected to a political party to check on violators. Responding to these images shared by twitter handle @Sumiran_KVS; data security researcher Srinivas Kodali, said, “Dear Telangana police, I want to help with your surveillance efforts. Just like you take these goons help for police support. I will volunteer, we can put a camera in every house to look if public are behaving as you want. It will be a limca record.”

Another Sridhar Rao Maddela who goes by the handle @sridharrao, told Newsmeter, " The men in the pictures call themselves as 'Army of Bellampalli TRS MLA Durgam Chinnaiah. The same has been reported in vernacular newspapers'.

When this correspondent, contacted Mancherial's Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) D Uday Kumar Reddy told NewsMeter, “There are 17 check-posts in Mancherial where police have been deployed to check on lockdown violators. No permission is granted to any volunteer to man the check-posts or accompany the police on duty. Police are only taking help from volunteers in distribution of food packets.”

When the matter regarding the images of TRS workers manning the checkpost was raised with the DCP, he said, the police deployed at checkposts will be informed regarding the rule'.

On 12 April, pictures of volunteer passes assigned to RSS workers by Kamareddy Tehsildar surfaced online. NewsMeter's investigation found that passes were issued by Mandal Revenue Officer of Kamareddy district to RSS workers to manage crown at Ration shops.

But district collector Dr A Sharath, who was quick to react said, “The Mandal Kamareddy Revenue Officer, planned to involve volunteers to maintain queue line at FP ( ration) shops in Kamareddy Municipality . However he was immediately warned not to involve volunteers and directed to go for home distribution using a vehicle. The volunteer cards are cancelled by MRO”.

Hours before this, another set of photographs of RSS workers in uniform holding lathis on a Hyderabad highway had gone viral . A tweet from Twitter handle @friendsofrss dated 9 April captioned these photos as “RSS volunteers helping the police department daily for 12 hours at Yadadri Bhuvanagiri district checkpoint, Telangana. #RSSinAction.” (sic). However Rachakonda Police Commissioner Mahesh Bhagwat denied granting permission to any.

Dheeshma Puzhakkal

Dheeshma Puzhakkal is currently a Reporter with Newsmeter. An alumnus of Hyderabad Central University, she has interned with Greater Kashmir newspaper and NDTV. Dheeshma has also made short films and documentaries. Her documentary �Still I Rise�, which is based on sex-trafficking in Hyderabad�s Old City, has earned accolades in several film festivals, such as International Documentary and Short Film Festival, Kerala (IDSFFK). An avid foodie, she loves to travel and listen to stories that others tell. Photography is one of her all-time interests. She has extensively written on satellite-based journalism, health, consumer, and data stories besides covering anti-crime investigative agencies.

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