Student ends life as prayers for DS' defeat are ‘answered'
Tension gripped Osmania University campus on Saturday after an engineering graduate immolated himself late on Friday night near the University library, reportedly as ‘his wish to see Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee president D. Srinivas defeated in the byelections was fulfilled'.
A suicide note purportedly written by P. Eshan Reddy, 22, found in a bag beside his charred body stated that he had vowed before Maisamma thalli -- a rural deity in Telangana -- that he would sacrifice his life if Mr. D. Srinivas lost the election. “I am very proud to do this,” the note said.
Morning walkers on the campus found the body in the bushes. As news about the suicide spread, a pall of gloom descended on the campus, the nerve-centre of pro-Telangana agitation that witnessed boisterous celebrations till the previous night following the thumping victory of Telangana Rashtra Samiti candidates in the bypolls.
Apprehending trouble, police deployed a large force on the campus and blocked the thoroughfare. But thousands of students thronged the area to have a glimpse of the body. Students turned emotional on learning that Reddy had appealed to pro-Telangana activists through the note to ‘boycott' nine prominent leaders of Congress and Telugu Desam parties describing them as traitors of Telangana.
Attempts to shift the body to the morgue were countered with stiff resistance as the youth had requested in the note not to conduct autopsy on his body. However, they relented when the police officers agreed to perform it at the spot. Heated arguments followed when police turned down their request to take the body in a procession to Gun Park martyrs' memorial near the Assembly building in tune with the victim's wish.
“All of us are ready to die here if the procession is not permitted,” the agitated students shouted.
However, with the intervention of TRS president K. Chandrasekhar Rao and BJP leader Ch. Vidyasagar Rao, the police permitted the rally. The body was then taken to Gun Park in a mammoth procession as slogans of ‘Jai Telangana' rent the air. Life came to a standstill en route but the rally passed off peacefully.
The body was later shifted to Reddy's native village, Basantpur, in Nyalakal mandal of Medak district where Reddy's father Indrasen Reddy, a farmer, resides. The youth lived with his uncle at Narayanaguda here.