The Osmania University campus here turned into a battlefield, with students repeatedly clashing with police on Wednesday. Violence erupted after they were prevented from marching to the Gun Park in a procession with the body of a student, who allegedly immolated himself over the delay in carving out a Telangana state.
Police fired rubber bullets after caning and lobbing of tear gas shells proved ineffective to quell the stone-pelting mobs.
Six students were injured in the firing.
Two vehicles set ablaze
More than 45 students and policemen, including ACP K. Ramachandran, were hurt in the see-saw battles that continued throughout the day on the sprawling campus. Two police vehicles were set ablaze and another was partially damaged. However, by nightfall, normality returned.
The violence came in the backdrop of all the 10 districts in the Telangana region observing a 24-hour shutdown to protest against the delay in bifurcating the State. While the bandh here was by and large peaceful, stray incidents of stone-pelting and protests were reported from various places.
On the university campus, agitators and police tried to outmanoeuvre each other. While students planned to walk to the Gun Park, the police were determined to foil their attempts. Strategically, the police allowed the procession after the body was loaded into a van. As the Assembly reached the Ladies’ Hostel, the police instructed the van driver to take the Adikmet Road on the southern side and head to Nalgonda.
As the students realised the game-plan, strong contingents moved in to prevent them from chasing the van. That was the tipping point for the violent confrontation.
In Nalgonda district too, agitators clashed with the police in Nakrekal when the van was not stopped to allow them to pay homage to the deceased. Scores of agitators and policemen were injured in the clashes there.