Tension escalated on the Osmania University campus on Tuesday after a pro-Telangana student immolated himself near Tagore Auditorium prompting thousands of students from other colleges to rush to the campus.
The fully burnt body of K. Venugopal Reddy, (27), a final year student of MCA in a college in Ghatkesar town on city outskirts, was found by morning walkers on the sprawling campus and within minutes the news spread. A note addressed to UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi demanding immediate bifurcation of the State, purportedly written by Venugopal Reddy was found near the body, police sources said.
Taken aback at the development that came in the backdrop of mounting pressure by the students to postpone the semester examinations of OU Campus constituent colleges, the university authorities quickly announced postponement of exams that were to be held on Tuesday and tomorrow. As students across Telangana district boycotted classes and exams, the Telangana JAC has called for a Telangana bandh on Wednesday.
The Telangana JAC convenor Prof. Kodandaram, who went to the spot was mobbed by students who argued with him to summon all the legislators hailing from Telangana region come to Tagore auditorium and take oath to quit their posts immediately. Addressing the students, Prof. Kodandaram called for Telangana bandh on Wednesday. A Congress legislator R. Damodar Reddy who too rushed to the spot was also mobbed and heckled by the students who demanded his resignation immediately.
The agitated students are demonstrating at the Tagore auditorium and are preventing the police from shifting the body for an autopsy. DIG R.S. Praveen Kumar and DCP V.B. Kamalasan Reddy who rushed to the spot were greeted by incensed slogans of ‘Police Go Back’. Sensing the belligerent mood of students, police withdrew and were holding talks with student leaders.
Venugopal Reddy hailed from Dosapahad village of neighbouring Nalgonda district and lived with his brother, Srinivas Reddy, a research scholar in the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT). On Monday evening, he is stated to have told his brother that he was going to the OU Campus and had not returned calls in the night.
A worried Srinivas Reddy rushed to the campus on Monday night but could not find him. Believing that he could have slept in any of his friends’ room in the hostels, he went away, but returned to the campus in the morning. By then morning walkers noticed the body and alerted authorities. The mobile phone found near the body helped identify that it was Venugopal Reddy’s body.