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Anti-suicide campaigner ends life for Telangana

By Mohammed Siddique
March 10, 2010 22:16 IST

After students and youth, journalists have also joined the list of those committing suicide in support of a separate Telangana state.

Even as M Sai Kumar, second year engineering student who hanged himself in Osmania University campus was cremated in his native village of Kapugal near Kodad in Nalgonda district, another case of suicide in favour of Telangana has come to light.

A reporter of Telugu daily "Sakshi" in Warangal, M Sunil Kumar, hanged himself at his home. He left behind a note saying he was taking his life hoping that it will be the last suicide in support of Telangana, and it will put a new life in the movement.

Ironically, Sunil used to write a regular column counseling students and youth not to commit suicide. But now Sunil said he was forced to take his life, saying he was bitter and disappointed by the way the issue was being put in cold storage in the name of committees.

He also urged the Telangana public representatives including Members of Legislative Assembly and Members of Legislative Council to immediately resign to put pressure on the Central government.

Hundreds of people, including the former minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Vidyasagar Rao and Telangana Rashtra Samithi leader Vinay Bhaskar and students of Kakatiya University attended his funeral procession in Warangal.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people also attended the cremation of Sai Kumar on Wednesday.

His last rites were performed in Kapugal village near Kodad in Nalgonda district amid tight security arrangements. Tempers ran high as students and other supporters shouted slogans against the political leaders and elected representatives for not resigning in support of Telangana state.

Earlier, high drama and tension continued in Hyderabad as the students of Osmania University took the body of Sai Kumar from Gandhi Hospital to the Martyrs' Memorial at Gun Park opposite state assembly where Telangana supporters, including Joint Action Committee convenor Prof Kodandaram paid their respect to the student.

Floral wreaths were placed on his body and other students vowed to continue their struggle for Telangana. From there the body was sent to his native village amid tight security.

The procession was taken out to fulfill the 'last wish' of Sai Kumar, expressed in his suicide note. While the police had refused to permit the procession, the Andhra Pradesh State Human Rights Commission intervened to permit the procession on certain conditions.

Acting on a petition of Students Joint Action Committee, the commission allowed the procession, but limited the number of participants to only 50 students.

It also said that the procession should start by 11 pm and conclude by 3-30 in the morning. The commission also did not allow taking the body to Osmania University. The police handed over the body to the student after postmortem was conducted.

Mohammed Siddique in Hyderabad