OU professors launch relay hunger strike in front of Arts College
HYDERABAD: Tension escalated on the Osmania University campus as students made abortive attempts to prevent hundreds of policemen in riot gear from forcibly shifting six students on indefinite fast on Monday morning. Situation appeared to slip out of control as slogan-shouting students jostled with policemen, but normality returned soon after, with nine university professors launching a relay hunger strike in front of the Arts College.
The OU campus was a beehive of activity throughout the day as members of the all-party Telangana Joint Action Committee, comprising Telugu Desam, TRS, BJP, PR and Congress, called on the students pledging their support to the students’ movement. “We will take the first bullet from police” if the government tried to suppress the movement by use of force, averred legislators of different political parties as students lustily cheered them.
The campus, a nerve centre of the pro-Telangana statehood movement by students, resounded with pro-Telangana slogans, emotional speeches and rousing songs sung by various cultural troupes, as policemen maintained utmost restraint.
The unanimous demand was that the Centre should come out with a time-bound plan for bifurcation of the State or face the people’s ire. A delegation of Telugu Desam, some members of which were abused, assaulted and chased away from Arts College four days ago, were all smiles as students welcomed them with cheers and claps.
Among the legislators present were, M. Narsimhulu of TDP, R. Damodar Reddy of Congress, G. Kishen Reddy of BJP, E. Rajender of TRS and Anil Kumar of PR.
The Telangana Students’ Joint Action Committee spearheading the movement adopted a belligerent stand by declaring to go ahead with its call to mobilise at least five lakh students on OU campus on January 3. “Come what may, we will do it,” the TSJAC leaders said while ignoring the stern warnings issued by the police that such a rally would not be permitted as prohibitory orders were in force.
The closure of colleges, hostels and canteens on the campus by the government was viewed by students as a move to suppress the movement.