Lathicharge on students in A.P.

HYDERABAD OCT. 31. Over 30 students were injured, some of them critically, when police lathicharged them near Indira Park in the city on Thursday. The students were taking out a rally protesting against the Government's recent order that makes B.Com students ineligible to appear for the B.Ed entrance test.

About four to five students collapsed on the spot unable to take the severe beating from the police. Over 15 students were admitted to the Osmania General Hospital with some of them receiving severe injuries. The injured included Shravan Kumar, president, all-India AISF unit, and Eashwaraiah, AISF State secretary.

The police chased the agitating students till Ashoknagar X roads after cane-charging them at Indira Park. Police said the students were permitted to go up to Indira Park only but they headed towards Tank Bund thus forcing them to act. However, the agitating students said the canecharge was unprovoked.

The Government recently issued a G.O. making B.Com students ineligible to appear for the B.Ed entrance test. G.O. No. 60 states that those who have studied at least one among History, Geography. Economics and Political Science in the qualifying examination were eligible for taking the B.Ed test. Since B.Com students don't study any of these subjects they tend to lose the opportunity.

This has angered the large number of students who have been agitating against the order since it was issued on July this year. The decision affects over 2.24 lakh students pursuing the B.Com course all over the State.

The decision seems to have hurt them more given the fact that B.Ed is being seen as a safe bet for Government jobs since the Government has been filling thousands of vacancies every year. B.Com students were being allowed to appear since the EdCET was introduced 16 years ago.

The Leader of the Opposition, Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, condemned the lathicharge.

In a statement here, Dr. Reddy alleged that the police lathicharged the students protesting peacefully and demanded the withdrawal of all cases foisted against the students. He said it was unfair on the part of the Government to take a unilateral decision barring the B.Com students.

He said such decision was taken only in Andhra Pradesh while in all other State the facility existed.

The CPI also condemned "the unprovoked attack'' on students who wanted to submit a memorandum to Higher Education Department officials.

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