T-JAC convenor Kodandaram accuses police of overreacting to SC guidelines
Notwithstanding the deployment of huge contingents of paramilitary forces sealing all routes to Osmania University campus, students began a fast-unto-death at Arts College on Monday.
The first-ever mass fast-unto-death by students in the pro-Telangana agitation was launched by nearly 50 students, some from Kakatiya University of Warangal and other parts of Telangana, even as armed police pickets posted at all entry and exit points did not allow a single outsider into the campus.
The Students Joint Action Committee attributed the low turn-out for the protest programme to the ‘unjustified' restrictions of the police.
“Is there an emergency in Telangana? Why are the police stopping students who want to exercise their democratic right of fasting, from entering the campus,” T-JAC convenor Prof. Kodandaram asked while addressing the fasting students. He reminded the police that the Supreme Court asked them not to allow anti-social elements into the OU campus, and remarked that police were overacting by misinterpreting SC guidelines.
Several leaders, including MLC Chukka Ramaiah and Telangana United Front convenor Vimalakka, called on the fasting students and pledged support to them. While the police started closing all routes to the campus two days ahead of the fast-unto-death announced by students, the latter managed to secure a tent and erect it at the Arts College by Monday morning.
While pro-Telangana slogans and emotional speeches continued there, a group of Telangana Vidyarthi Aikya Vedika activists started a bike rally from the campus to Raj Bhavan, triggering tension.
The rally was stopped by police at NCC gate resulting in heated arguments between the police and students.
Stones and slogans
The sloganeering students rained stones when the police used force to disperse them.
Tension escalated as police used teargas shells but soon the situation was brought under control.
Students gathered again at B-hostel after some time and pelted stones at the policemen prompting the latter to lob teargas shells again.
The fast of students at Arts College, however, continued.
The Aikya Vedika leaders Mahesh, Gangadhar and Nagaraju alleged that police arrested some of their activists and implicated them in earlier reported cases.
Keywords: Telangana agitation