Andhra Pradesh

Agitators, police clash at Osmania varsity

Students trying to barge into the District Collectorate as part of a protest demanding a separate Telangana State in Nalgonda on Monday. Photo Singam Venkataramana.

Students trying to barge into the District Collectorate as part of a protest demanding a separate Telangana State in Nalgonda on Monday. Photo Singam Venkataramana.  

Osmania University campus continued to simmer with tension as the pro-Telangana agitators organised a series of demonstrations and clashed with city police on Monday.

A pro-statehood demonstration at Manikeshwara Nagar, adjacent to the campus grew into a full-fledged battle between the agitators and police who were assisted by contingents of para-military forces.

As the incensed protestors showered stones on the police, the latter wielded lathis to disperse them.

In what was being billed as ‘excesses’, police did not spare women and children in the basti into which the agitators ran to escape from the lathis.

This development was the tipping point for rapid escalation of tension on the campus, as students who gathered in good numbers at the Arts College rushed to Vadder Basti side, behind the Arts College, only to be chased back into the campus by the police.

Policemen targeted media personnel too leading to injuries to several of them. A semblance of normalcy returned only after members of the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) arrived there to inquire into allegations of police high-handedness.

As the SHRC inquiry began, additional police forces were withdrawn. Tension began to escalate when nearly 2,000 policemen drawn from different units like the Quick Response Team, Greyhounds, CRPF and the Commissioner’s Task Force, descended in riot gear at the Arts College around 8 a.m.

Students fell at the feet of policemen pleading that they be allowed to continue their relay hunger strike. The police had been keeping away from the campus for the last seven days, after their lathicharge on students invited sharp criticism. It was a hide-and-seek game that was played on the campus.

When police rushed to E-1 and E-2 hostels on hearing that trouble was brewing there, students rushed to Arts College from other sides. As the students’ numbers swelled minute by minute, police were caught unawares.

Legislators Etela Rajender and T. Harish Rao (TRS) were stopped at Engineering College and taken into custody. Mr. Harish Rao’s argument that he had permission from Home Minister P. Sabitha Indra Reddy fell on deaf ears. Veteran Telangana leader Konda Laxman Bapuji had similar experience.

Advocates

Initially, police prevented the media from entering the campus and later about 200 city advocates too were stopped at the campus entry point. However, the lawyers argued their way into the campus.

null
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Sep 22, 2020 9:19:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/Agitators-police-clash-at-Osmania-varsity/article16852047.ece

Next Story