Staff Reporter

Angered over police firing on protesters at Mahabubabad in Warangal district

HYDERABAD: The conflict between pro-Telangana activists and supporters of Congress MP, Y.S. Jagan, at Mahabubabad in Warangal district on Friday found an echo in the city when some students of Osmania University attacked shops in Tarnaka, angered over police firing on protesters.

Tension had been building up on the campus, the nerve centre of the pro-Telangana agitation, from Thursday as Mr. Jagan's tour in Warangal sparked off heated discussions among the students. Over 500 students left for Mahabubabad in batches the same night vowing to disrupt that programme. From Friday morning, they were closely following the reports of the tour through TV news channels and mobile phone inputs from their friends who had already arrived in Mahabubabad.

As reports about violent protests at the Mahabubabad railway station spread, students from the hostels began gathering in front of Arts College. They initially took out a procession to NCC and burnt the effigy of Jagan.

After some time, they assembled again at Arts College to discuss the further course of action when TV news channels started scrolling breaking news of a youngster getting killed in police firing, though eventually it turned out to be false.

Tempers run high

Tempers ran high as some students described the firing incident as an act of suppression of students of the region. Meanwhile, some students raised concerns about the safety of OU students participating in protests at Mahabubabad. Raising slogans, they surged towards Tarnaka even as the police followed them. The angry student groups pelted stones at some shops damaging glasses and later squatted on Tarnaka crossroads urging the government to stop Mr. Jagan's tour. They pulled down a billboard which had the picture of Mayor Banda Kartika Reddy.

The strategic restraint observed by police yielded results with the protesting students deciding not to indulge in further violence and confining themselves to a peaceful demonstration.