Protests outside US consulate in Hyderabad

Hyderabad, Dec 19 : Left parties and their affiliated students' organizations staged protests near the US consulate here Thursday against the ill-treatment meted out to Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade by the US authorities in New York.

Tension prevailed in the busy Begumpet area as police stopped dozens of protestors who tried to march towards Paigah Palace housing the consulate.

Police, who had erected the barricades on the road leading to the consulate, arrested the protestors who reached there in batches. Raising slogans of "Down with US imperialism", the protestors carried banners, placards and flags of their respective parties.

Police resisted the attempts of the protestors to remove the barricades. They jostled with each other, leading to tension. Police personnel were seen bundling the protestors into waiting vehicles and shifting them to police stations.

Taking strong exception to the handling of the situation by the police, a protestor alleged that police were acting as agents of the US. The banners carried by the protestors read "Uncle Sam, don't act ugly with India" and "Shame shame, America is still racist".

The protestors demanded an unconditional apology from the US. "Mere condemnation by parliament is not enough. India should act firmly without bothering about its impact on trade and business relations with the US because the country's honour and pride is more important than anything else," said a protestor.

Activists of Communist Party of India (CPI), All India Peace and Solidarity Organisation (AIPSO), Progressive Democratic Students Union (PDSU), All India Students Federation (AISF), Students Federation of India (SFI) and other students, youth and Dalit organizations participated in the protests.

Police stepped up security as more organizations were planning protests at the consulate to condemn the ill-treatment meted out to Khobragade by the US authorities.

Unlike in New Delhi, where security barricades were removed from outside the US embassy, the consulate here remains out of bounds for public.

--IANS (Posted on 19-12-2013)

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