Southern part of the Osmania University campus at Andhra Mahila Sabha arch turned into a battlefield for the second consecutive day on Thursday as student groups repeatedly clashed with police after their attempts to march towards Assembly were scuttled.
A day ahead of the Chalo Assembly being organised by the Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC) with the support of different political parties and organisations, the Students JAC too called for the similar programme ending up in a pitched battle with policemen for over three hours. After converging at Arts College around noon, the students marched towards AMS arch.
Since the students’ announced about their agitation in advance, police higher-ups were ready to foil their plans with huge contingents of policemen in riot gear positioned at all entry points to OU campus. In addition to the barbed wire fencing, police also erected nearly 10-feet-high steel barricades ensuring not a single person could move past AMS arch.
Emotionally charged students on one side of the barricades and helmet-wearing policemen wielding lathis on the other, heated arguments started. “Let us go,” shouted the furious youngsters trying to push aside the steel barricades while the policemen silently stood like a wall.
As pro-Telangana slogans rent the air, protestors covering their faces with clothes, banners and hand kerchiefs scaled and kicked the steel barricades trying in vain to move past the police. At one stage, the students managed to pull aside a barricade only to be caned and chased away by the police. Students ran for some distance and started raining stones on police.
Guarding themselves with stone-guards, the police caught some of the protestors and gave them thorough thrashing before shifting them to OU police station. On seeing co-students being caught, other protestors became even more aggressive showering stones and whatever came to their hands, the police lobbed tear gas shells.
The see-saw battle continued for the next two hours with students retreating when the policemen chased them, and returning with stones a few minutes of gap. In between, some student leaders tried to pacify both the students and staged a sit-in at the barricades. As their numbers swelled, police dispersed them using force.