Telangana government gags local media from reporting on Adivasi-Lambada conflict

The Telangana government issued a gag order prohibiting local media from publishing or broadcasting any information about the conflict between the Adivasi and Lambada tribe in the northern part of the state.

In a notice served in Hyderabad on Saturday night, Police Commissioner VV Srinivasa Rao said the publication or transmission of any such information will likely promote disharmony and hatred, reported Hindustan Times.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

"Publication or transmission of such contents will be a cognisable and non-bailable offence under Section 505 (2) of the Indian Penal Code," the report quoted the order as saying.

The police also suspended internet services in Adilabad, Komaram, Bheem and Nirmal districts.

Violence rocked the agency areas of Adilabad district last Friday following clashes between Adivasi and Lambada tribe after the Adivasi learnt that a statue of tribal legend Kumram Bheem was allegedly desecrated in Narnoor mandal.

The police had to use teargas shells at various places to get the situation under control, according to a report in The News Minute.

Police also denied media reports that two people were killed in the violence.

However, The Indian Express reported that two people were killed when a mini-truck driver panicked on seeing the mob on the road and ran over them.

"It was like a herd of animals on the rampage. Stones were raining on the windows and they tried to break the door using axes and big stones. For about 15 minutes I thought any moment they will get in, kill me," the report also quoted a 25-year-old pregnant woman as saying. The woman added that she had to hide under a bed when a group of men tried to break open the door of her home.

The violence in Adilabad also came a day after members of the Adivasi tribe resorted to violence in Jayashankar, Bhupalpally districts over the inclusion of the Lambada tribe in the Medaram Temple Trust Board.

For the past couple of months, some Adivasi have been demanding that the Lambada be removed from the list of Scheduled Tribes (ST), alleging that the latter were included in the ST list without following due procedures. Lambada leaders have rejected the allegations.

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Updated Date: Dec 19, 2017 14:57:02 IST

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