Hyderabad : The Osmania University here was Monday rocked by clashes between the police and students over the Telangana issue. Security personnel used batons, teargas and fired rubber bullets to disperse the mobs, leaving many injured. Mediapersons were particularly targeted.
For the second time since Sunday evening, the sprawling campus turned into a battle zone with pro-Telangana students taking to the streets and police using force to tackle them.
Protesting the police firing and baton charge on them Sunday night, students took out a rally and threw stones at policemen and paramilitary personnel deployed on the campus.
The police hit back with batons, rubber bullets and teargas. Witnesses said some policemen were injured in the stone-pelting while a few students and mediapersons also were wounded when the police used force.
Scribes covering the students’ protests once again became the police’s target. The men in uniform not only baton-charged photographers and camerapersons but also damaged their vehicles.
Several armed policemen were seen damaging vehicles with batons and removing number plates and press stickers. They snatched cameras and destroyed these too.
“The policemen mercilessly beat me with ‘lathis’ though I was wearing the identity card. They abused mediapersons, saying the protests are happening because of them,” said a reporter of a Telugu television channel, showing the marks of blows of batons on his back.
The Andhra Pradesh Working Journalists Union strongly condemned the police action and demanded that a criminal case be filed against Joint Commissioner of Police P.S.R. Anjaneyulu for leading the attack on journalists.
Journalists staged a sit-in on the campus, demanding action against the police officers.
Tension continued on the campus as police mobilised more forces while pro-Telangana lawyers and women activists reached to express solidarity with students and journalists.
Meanwhile, the committee formed by the State Human Rights Commission visited the campus to begin a probe into Sunday night’s violence, in which over 30 students and six mediapersons were injured when police fired rubber bullets and used batons and teargas shells to disperse the agitating mobs.
Trouble had started when students tried to take out a procession hailing 15 Telangana legislators who resigned to protest the terms of reference of the Srikrishna panel looking into the separate statehood demand.
Statwe Home Minister P. Sabita Indra Reddy told reporters Monday that action would be taken against policemen if they were found guilty of using excessive force.
Tension also prevailed at Moazzam Jahi Market, a busy commercial area, when students of City College tried to march towards the assembly building to protest the violence at Osmania University. Police used force to disperse the students.
Police also locked the gates of Nizam College in Basheerbagh area to prevent students from marching towards the assembly, where unprecedented security arrangements were made for the budget session that began Monday.