Maoist-hunter top cop to be Osmania University V-C

Elaborate preparations are being made by the state to counter any violent protests with the deadline for Sri Krishna Committee’s report on the division of the state nearing. Iron grills on about 500 city buses, deployment of 60 companies of paramilitary force and introduction of the pepper gun—a new addition to the riot control armoury—are some of the steps underway on New Year’s eve to take on protesters.

State Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy had given a green signal for all preparations proposed by the administration and police before he left for Delhi to participate in the Congress plenary.

Sources in the chief minister’s office said government had approved a suggestion by Governor E S L Narasimhan to nominate senior IAS or IPS officers to head the three strife-torn universities—Osmania at Hyderabad, Kakatiya at Warangal and Andhra at Visakhapatnam.

The government move gained momentum after students gheraoed OU vice chancellor Prof T Tirupati Rao two days ago and locked him in the library for nearly two hours. This was to demand the postponement of the post graduate exams meant to begin on December 18. The government strategy was to close the university campus and hostels after exams.

Following the lock-up incident, Prof Rao offered to quit.  He has only three months for retirement and the government may ask him to leave early and bring in Sen.

Specific information

“We have specific information from intelligence agencies that of the 6,000 students residing in hostels on the OU campus, only 400-odd are agitators while nearly 5,600 are willing to appear for the exams.” said a senior police official.

The OU student leaders, meanwhile, feared the police would clear the campus after exams, denying them chance of any campus activity in case Sri Krishna Committee report went against the T-state.

DGP K Aravinda Rao, anticipating sudden surge of protests by activists seeking State's bifurcation or opposing it, had sought deployment of some 120 companies of Central Para Military Forces (CPMF), but only 60 companies were provided. There is, however, an assurance for more force.

The anti-agitation strategy of the state police is three-fold—observing restraint, effective use of legal option and use of ‘matching' force to prevent physical violence.
The government has also initiated surveillance on key student leaders.

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