Osmania students begin fast, clash with police (Second Lead)July 11th, 2011 - 5:51 pm ICT by IANS
Hyderabad, July 11 (IANS) Tension continued at Osmania University Monday as as students, defying police, began an indefinite fast demanding immediate carving of a separate Telangana state from Andhra Pradesh while police arrested leaders of various parties heading towards the university.
Dozens of students launched the fast even as the university remained under siege by the police and central paramilitary forces to enter outsiders.
Legislators of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and rebel leaders of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were arrested soon after they left the state assembly complex for the university.
TRS legislators E. Rajender, K. Tarakarama Rao and Harish Rao, TDP’s N. Janardhan Reddy and BJP leaders Bandaru Dattatreya and Indrasena Reddy were among those arrested for defying ban on any assembly of four or more people.
Earlier, at Osmania University, police burst teargas shells as students, angered at being prevented from taking out a motorbike rally to Raj Bhavan, pelted stones on the constabulary at the main gate of the campus. Police also arrested several students for defying prohibitpry orders.
Tension grew in the morning as dozens of students gathered on the Osmania campus began an indefinite fast at the Arts College despite arrests of students in Hyderabad and other districts of Telangana.
It was a battlefield for the fourth time in a week as Osmania students clashed with police. Armed policemen were seen chasing stone-pelting students around the campus.
Police arrested dozens of students reaching the university from different parts of the city as also from other districts. Police were deployed at the university in large numbers since Sunday night to foil the students’ agitation and indefinite fast.
Since Sunday night police also have arrested some leaders of the Osmania University Joint Action Committee (OU JAC), the committee said.
Preventive arrests of students were also made in Warangal, Karimnagar, Nalgonda and other towns of the state to stop them from proceeding to Hyderabad. Protesting what they called the highhanded attitude of police, students of Kakatiya University in Warangal also launched indefinite fast.
TRS leader E. Rajender alleged that hundreds of students were arrested in all 10 districts of Telangana.
Despite the police crackdown, the OU JAC succeeded in pitching a tent in front of the Arts College and launching the fast at 11 a.m.
Political JAC convenor M. Kodandaram and some other leaders also managed to reach the venue but other political leaders were arrested at the main gate while trying to enter the university.
The sprawling university campus was under siege by the police and central paramilitary forces, who have sealed all the routes leading towards the campus to scuttle OU JAC plans.
Tension also prevailed in surrounding areas as police erected barricades and carried out checks of vehicles.
The OU JAC had announced plans to launch the mass fast with 10,000 students. The political JAC and various groups fighting for a separate Telangana state have declared their support to the fast.
However, Hyderabad Police Commissioner A.K. Khan said there was no permission for the programme. He also banned the entry of outsiders into the campus on the ground that there are orders from the Supreme Court.
The police chief pointed out that prohibitory orders banning assembly of five or more people are also in force in the city.
Osmania University is the nerve centre of the Telangana agitation and has witnessed clashes between students and police since the latest phase of the agitation began earlier this month.
Meanwhile, Communist Party of India (CPI) activists have laid siege to the offices of district collectors in Telangana, demanding the central government table a bill in parliament for formation of a separate Telangana state.
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Tags: action committee, agitation, bharatiya janata party, bjp leaders, campus police, constabulary, dattatreya, harish, janardhan reddy, motorbike, osmania university, paramilitary forces, preventive arrests, rao, rebel leaders, state assembly, tdp, telugu desam party, trs, university police