Staff Reporter

Police turn spectators as students damage cars, establishments

Over 2,000 assemble in front of Arts College to chalk out future programme

Meeting on campus college marked by emotional speeches and songs

HYDERABAD: Osmania University campus continued to be tense for the second day on Monday with fresh bouts of violence being reported, even as students began relay hunger strikes vowing to take forward Telangana statehood agitation.

Some groups went on a rampage attacking the residential quarters of Mr. Christopher, Secretary of the A.P. State Council of Higher Education (APSCHE) and his car on the campus while over 2,000 assembled in front of the University College of Arts and Social Sciences to chalk out a future programme of agitation.

The police, who were accused of over-reacting by beating up students on Sunday, did not intervene even as the students turned violent and attacked Sanman Hotel at Tarnaka junction, two petrol bunks and some shops.

‘Rakshak’ damaged

The agitators, carrying sticks went berserk, pelted stones and damaged several civilian vehicles and a police ‘Rakshak’ vehicle there. They smashed windscreens of the police vehicle and toppled it while police tried to prevent them. Minutes later, another group went to the quarter of Mr. Christopher, hurled stones and damaged his car.

Sensing that the situation was going out of control, leaders of the Telangana Joint Action Committee intervened and sent away the students convincing them that the violence might boomerang. Aggressive attitude might invite the wrath of the State Human Rights Commission which restrained police from using excessive force following a petition by a few people’s organisations, they appealed.

Except the huge contingent of police with riot gear at the Osmania University police station and NCC Gate end, not a single man in uniform was deployed anywhere on the campus.

However, some of the slogan-shouting and frenzied students continued to behave in unpredictable manner questioning anyone suspecting them to be policemen.

They beat up a plainclothes policeman, assaulted the gunman of Praja Rajyam Balkonda constituency legislator, Anil, who came to pledge his support and damaged his car.

Assault on media men

Even mediapersons were not spared and were quizzed regarding identity. The agitators pushed away a couple of TV cameramen and damaged one of their vehicles but apologised to them later when the reporters registered protest.

Students swelled at the meeting that was going on in front of Arts College. Among those present the Representative of Lawyers Forum assured to argue free all cases of OU students involved in the agitation. Marked by emotional speeches and songs highlighting Telangana issues, the meeting continued for over seven hours.