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Agitators, police clash at Osmania university

Staff Reporter

Pro-Telangana students organise demonstrations on campus


Police target women, children at basti

Media personnel too not spared


— Photo: G. Krishnaswamy

Voicing her protest: Telangana Rashtra Samiti secretary-general Vijayashanthi argues with the police after a lathi charge on students at the Osmania University in Hyderabad on Monday.

HYDERABAD: The Osmania University campus continued to simmer with tension as pro-Telangana agitators organised a series of demonstrations and clashed with city police on Monday.

A pro-statehood demonstration at Manikeshwara Nagar, adjacent to the campus grew into a full-fledged battle between the agitators and police who were assisted by contingents of para-military forces. As the protesters threw stones at the police, the latter wielded lathis to disperse them.

Police did not spare women and children in the basti into which the agitators ran to escape from the lathis. This led to escalation of tension, as students who had gathered in strength at the Arts College rushed to the Vadder Basti behind the college, only to be chased back into the campus by the police. Policemen targeted media personnel too injuring several of them.

A semblance of normality returned only after members of the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) arrived to inquire into allegations of police high-handedness. As the SHRC inquiry began, additional police forces were withdrawn.

Tension began to escalate when nearly 2,000 policemen drawn from different units like the Quick Response Team, Greyhounds, CRPF and the Commissioner’s Task Force, descended in riot gear at the Arts College around 8 a.m. Students fell at the feet of policemen pleading that they be allowed to continue their relay hunger strike. The police had been keeping away from the campus for the last seven days, after their lathi charge on students invited sharp criticism.

It was a hide-and-seek game that was played on the campus. When police rushed to E-1 and E-2 hostels on hearing that trouble was brewing there, students rushed to the Arts College from other sides. As the student numbers swelled by the minute, police were caught unawares.

Legislators Etela Rajender and T. Harish Rao (TRS) were stopped at the Engineering College and taken into custody. Mr. Harish Rao’s argument that he had permission from Home Minister P. Sabitha Indra Reddy was not heeded. Veteran Telangana leader Konda Laxman Bapuji had a similar experience.

Advocates

Initially, police prevented the media from entering the campus and later about 200 city advocates too were stopped at the entry point. However, the lawyers argued their way in.

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