Cops hijack Osmania student’s body as violence escalates


Hyderabad : Police took control of the body of the Osmania University student who had committed suicide and several Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) leaders were arrested Wednesday as protests for statehood to Andhra Pradesh’s Telangana region took a violent turn.

Support TwoCircles

At least a dozen students and five policemen were injured in clashes in the sprawling Osmania University campus during the funeral procession of Venugopal Reddy, a final year MCA (master of computer applications) student, who had set himself on fire early Tuesday to protest the delay in carving out a Telangana state.

The campus turned into a battle zone as police fired several rounds in the air, lobbed teargas shells and cane-charged to disperse the students, who were pelting stones.

The clashes erupted when police and paramilitary forces tried to stop hundreds of students from marching towards the city centre with Venugopal Reddy’s body.

Police stopped the procession near the Ladies Hostel in the campus. The students wanted to take the body to Martyrs’ Memorial near the state assembly building.

The police took control of the ambulance carrying Venugopal Reddy’s body and took it to his home in Nalgonda.

The students’ Joint Action Committee (JAC) kept his body in the campus through Tuesday night and had planned to take it to Nalgonda in a procession.

The JAC was planning to keep the body at the Martyrs’ Memorial and force all MPs and legislators from Telangana to resign in support of the demand for a separate state.

Police also arrested TRS legislators Harish Rao, E. Rajender and Taraka Rama Rao.

Harish Rao blamed police for the violence saying the students were peaceful and wanted to take the body to the memorial to enable people to pay their last respects.

Ruling Congress legislator R. Damodar Reddy also held the police responsible. “The police should not provoke peaceful protestors, otherwise the government will be responsible for the consequences.”