Hours after photographs of men in Rashtriya Swamsevak Sangh uniforms holding lathis and checking people on a highway in Bhongir near Hyderabad went viral on social media the state police department said no official permission was given to the Sangh workers.
The Indian Express reported that the RSS activists allegedly volunteered to help the Telangana police at Alair check-post amid the nationwide lockdown.
A tweet from the handle Friends of RSS read "RSS volunteers helping the police department daily for 12 hours at Yadadri Bhuvanagiri district checkpoint, Telangana. #RSSinAction." The Twitter handle that claims to be an independent initiative by swayamsevaks is followed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and some Union Ministers. The account also shares photographs of RSS volunteers distributing food packets and essential groceries in different parts of the country amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
The photos accompanying the tweet where the activists were seen checking documents/ID cards of the commuters have raised the questions as to who authorised RSS tp conduct checks and whether the policing too is now being outsourced.
No Permission Granted
Confirming the authenticity of the photographs and the incident, Rachakonda police commissioner Mahesh Bhagwat, said, "We received some photographs from Bhongir the day before yesterday (April 9). We have enquired and confirmed that they (RSS members) came to volunteer. Our people politely told them that we can do our duty and they can do their job."
"This is the job of the police and we can do it. No permission has been given," the commissioner said adding that the RSS volunteers have not turned up at the checkpoint on Friday and Saturday as advised.
According to Ayush Nadimpalli, Telangana RSS Prant Prachaar Pramukh, RSS volunteers had appealed for volunteering with the local police but some people had objected, due to which the police are under pressure.
"It is nothing negative. It came on social media. That's all," he added.
Nadimpalli opined that the 'lathis' are part of the RSS uniform and hence, the activists were carrying the same during their voluntary work at the check-post.
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