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Violence erupts over Telangana; Osmania students threaten mass suicide

By Mohammed Siddique
February 14, 2010 22:56 IST

The situation in Osmania University campus aggravated late on Sunday night as the police made a lathicharge and fired rubber bullets second time to disperse the students.

Like the first round, the second round of use of force by the police also targeted the media persons. AT least four students were injured, one of them seriously as he was hit by a rubber bullet. Injured students were identified as Srinivas and Bhaskar.

The Students' Joint Action Committee leaders have threatened that if the police does not leave the campus within one hour, they will commit mass suicide.

The second round of trouble started when the students tried to break through the police cordon and go towards Tarnaka junction. The police used batons to control the students. Media persons became the target when they tried to cover the violence.

Police closed all the entry points of the campus and did not allow even ambulances to enter the university area. 

Meanwhile, the all party Telangana Joint Action Committee convenor Prof Kodandaram, Telangana Rashtra Samithi leader T Harish Rao and the BJP legislator G Kishan Reddy were arrested when they tried to go towards the Osmania Campus.

The leader of the opposition N Chandrababu Naidu also strongly condemned the use of force by the police against the students and the media. He urged the Chief Minister K Rosaiah to intervene and restore peace in he campus.

Defending the use of force by the police joint commissioner BSR Anjenayalu said that police resorted to lathicharge because of the presence of outsiders in the campus, a charge strongly denied by the students.

Earlier, tension gripped parts of Telangana region on Sunday evening as police lathi charge, firing of tear gas shells and rubber bullets in the Osmania University campus in Hyderabad left several students and media persons injured.

The violence broke out in the evening when the students took out a procession in the campus to express solidarity with the Telangana legislators who had resigned earlier in the day. Students alleged that the police made a brutal lathicharge at them near the Arts College and Manjeera hostel building.

When the television crew reached the spot to cover the incident, police officials stopped them and used force against them. In the melee, six cameras were damaged and some reporters were injured.

As the violence continued, the police used teargas shells and fired rubber bullets.

Apart from the media, the 108 ambulances were also not allowed to enter the campus to shift the injured to the hospital.

Strongly condemning the use of brutal force by the police against the students and the media, Telangana Rashtra Samiti president K Chandrasekhara Rao demanded that the police camp should be withdrawn from the campus immediately and action should be taken against the officials responsible for the incidents, including joint police commissioner B S Anjenayalu.

"There seems to be a police raj in the state," he said. "When we wanted to go to the campus to see the situation, police officials stopped us," he said.

He also lashed out at the Congress party legislators for keeping mum over the violence in campus.

The incident in Osmania has sparked off protest in several districts including Nalgonda, Medak, Warngal and Karimnar. In Nalgonda and Medak districts protestors have blocked the traffic on National Highway No 9 and 7. Effigies of Chief Minister K Rosaiah were burnt in Warangal and Karimnagar.

TDP to hand over resignations to TJAC 

Meanwhile, senior Telugu Desam legislator N Janardhan Reddy said that 27 of the 39 TDP MLAs from Telangana have submitted their resignations to him. He told the reporters that he will hand over the resignations to TJAC convenor Prof Kodandaram for further action.

Chief Minister K Rosaiah has sent two teams of senior ministers to meet the two Congress MLAs R Damodar Reddy and Ch Mutyam Reddy who submitted resignation to the Speaker today. The ministers were trying to persuade the two to withdraw their letters.

First resignations accepted

Meanwhile, Ch Ramesh of Telugu Desam Party became the first legislator from Telangana whose resignation was accepted by assembly speaker N Kirankumar Reddy today.

Ch Ramesh's resignation, which was submitted on December 13, was accepted today.

Sources said that the resignations of other MLAs were under serious consideration of the speaker.

Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad