Students to launch fast for separate Telangana from tomorrow; police gear up security

The Osmania University campus, nerve centre for separate Telangana State agitation, witnessed clashes several times earlier between students and police.

A new fight of strategies and counter strategies between the two sides to outwit one another is on now, with two days left for the mass fast unto death by the students. While the police are racking up their brains on how to abort the mass fast by students having potential to create serious law and order problem, the students too are making all efforts to mobilise maximum number of students for the programme.

Except for the burning of effigies of Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy of YSR Congress and N. Chandrababu Naidu of Telugu Desam parties, the campus remained quiet on Saturday. “Underneath this calmness, both the police and the students are debating the tactics to be adopted to achieve their respective goals,” a professor who mediated between students and the police during earlier clashes said.

The Students Joint Action Committee announced that nearly 10,000 students would sit for the fast unto death programme on Monday at Arts College on the campus. It called upon students from Telangana region to assemble at Arts College and make the programme a success. The police have decided not to allow even a single student from outside into the campus on Monday.

“Even if 1,000 students start fast unto death on Monday, the issue might trigger tensions in the present political volatile situation,” a police officer remarked. Not willing to take any chance, the police are rushing additional forces to the OU campus making it inaccessible to outsiders on Monday.

Police pickets

A picket was being posted at every entry and exit point of the campus ensuring no person, other than bona-fide student or teacher or worker of the university gains entry inside. The students are undeterred and say that hundreds of students studying in different colleges of the university would undertake the fast at the Arts College if the police stop others from coming to the campus.

Meanwhile, Hyderabad Police Commissioner A.K. Khan said the mass fasting by students and the Chalo Arts College by students was not permitted. “No organisers applied for permission. Already, Section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code was clamped in city prohibiting assembly of five or more persons,” he said.

Referring to Supreme Court guidelines, he clarified that no outsiders - except students, teaching and non-teaching staff of OU -would be allowed to conduct any meeting or programme inside the campus. Anyone violating these rules would be punished. He appealed to students of Hyderabad and Telangana region to take note of the rules.

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