Tension escalated on Osmania University campus after students clashed with policemen repeatedly, even as a youngster resorted to self-immolation after the police in Karimnagar foiled the attempts of K. Chandrasekhara Rao, chief of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) to launch a fast-unto-death demanding separate statehood for Telangana on Sunday morning.

At least two dozen students and policemen were injured in the free-for-all battle on the Osmania Unversity campus where students reacted violently to the arrest of Mr. Rao in Karimnagar. Even as police was grappling with the situation on the campus, another youngster, later identified as Srikanth immolated himself near LB Nagar cross roads.

Srikanth was shifted to Gandhi Hospital where his condition was stated to be critical.

Mr. Chandrasekhar Rao, who was on his way to Siddipet to launch his indefinite fast was intercepted by a heavy contingent of police on Karimnagar outskirts and taken into custody.

The repercussions were instant on the Osmania University campus in the State capital where more than 1000 students demonstrated denouncing the arrest. The heavy posse of policemen in riot-gear on the campus became their target. There was heavy stone pelting on the police from Krishnaveni hostel side and initially, police exercised some restraint, but as the numbers of students swelled and stone hurling intensified, police used force.

That signalled the beginning of several rounds of see-saw battle with students, mostly living in the campus hostels attacking policemen and the policemen freely using their lathis and stones too to disperse the agitated students. Live coverage of the stone hurling and the lathicharge had further incensed the students in other hostels, who too rushed out onto the roads.

Even as tension was escalating on the OU Campus, another youngster later identified as Srikanth dounsed himself with Kerosene and set himself afire near LB Ngagar cross roads. Srikanth engulfed in flames ran for some distance before the police could realise what was happening. He was shifted to a nearby corporate hospital and later to Gandhi Hospital where his condition was stated to be critical.

Rumours of a student injured in the lathicharge on OU campus led to a fresh round of serious confrontation with the police around noon. Despite the police announcing that no student injured in the lathicharge died, students went on a rampage attacking the policemen.

Police said Venkanna Nayak, a student of political science in PG College, suffering from epileptic seizures died in the morning. His roommates called an ambulance, but by that time had already died. He had no connection with the protests after Mr. Chandrasekhara Rao’s arrest, it was clarified repeatedly.

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