Police, students clash on Osmania University campus; 20 injured

Police, students clash on Osmania University campus; 20 injured

Students set alight a vehicle during a protest at Osmania University in Hyderabad on Wednesday. AFP

Venugopal Reddy committed suicide at the campus on Tuesday.

Even before Venugopal could be cremated, one more student committed suicide on Wednesday in Aler mandal in Nalgonda district  while a girl student killed herself in Mahbubnagar district on Tuesday.

An activist of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti in Warangal set himself on fire and has been admitted to hospital with severe burns. All of them left suicide notes saying were sacrificing their life for Telangana.

The campus turned into a veritable battleground as the police engaged in a pitched battle with students, who retaliated by pelting stones at them. Police prevented the students from taking out Reddy’s body in a procession on Wednesday morning, to Gunpark, a memorial for the martyrs of Telangana movement of 1969. Police fired tear gas shells and then rubber bullets at students to disperse them.

Students retaliated by stoning policemen and set on fire a few vehicles including a police van. The JAC was planning to keep the body at the Telangana Martyrs’ Memorial.
At least 15 students and five policemen have been hospitalised with injuries. Later, the police forcibly took charge of Venugopal’s body and took it to his hometown Nakrekal in Nalgonda district. Several thousands of people turned up at the funeral.

Bundh turns violent

The 48-hour Telangana bundh called by the students to protest against Venugopal’s death turned violent in several places. In Nizampet in Rangareddy district, a lorry was set on fire. In several places in Karimnagar, protesters staged dharnas in front of police stations.  In Warangal, tension prevailed near the houses of Congress minister P Laxmaiah and MLA K Surekha as protesters laid siege to their houses demanding their resignation  from the assembly.

Normal life was affected with buses keeping off the roads and business establishments downing their shutters. Schools, colleges, shops and other business establishments were shut in Hyderabad and across the 10 districts of Telangana. Meanwhile, responding to criticism of police ‘highhandedness’ in dealing with OU students, Chief Minister K Rosaiah has ordered an enquiry into the incident.

Home Minister Sabita Indra Reddy, however, supported the police saying they were doing their duty.

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