HYDERABAD: Hyderabad came to a standstill on Monday as perhaps, for the first time, violence spread from the Osmania University campus -- epicentre of the Telangana stir in the State capital -- to other parts of the City for which, police, significantly, blamed outside elements.
“We have concrete information to prove this. We have taken some of them into custody,” Police Commissioner AK Khan said.
The Chalo Assembly rally of the OU students, planned to press for the introduction of the Telangana bill in Parliament, turned violent this afternoon with the police whipping out lathis, lobbing tear gas shells, stun grenades and firing rubber bullets to prevent them from venturing out of the campus. Several students were injured and temporarily incapacitated.
Despite heavy deployment in and around the Assembly, the students managed to sneak in and even climb atop Gate-II.
The violent clashes went on till late in the night on the OU campus. The students kept coming back at the police and some among them even lobbed petrol bombs at the cops.
But what left the police red-faced was the violence in Nizam College, Tarnaka, Khairatabad and Necklace road which threw the traffic out of gear.
Rampaging mobs set fire to the reservation office inside the MMTS station on the Necklace road.
A few buses were damaged and a car showroom was ransacked at Habsiguda and an attempt was made to burn a train at Jamia Osmania station.
The police commissioner said several persons from outside Hyderabad were part of the mobs that indulged in violence in the Osmania University and elsewhere.
“Persons from different districts took part in the violence inside the campus and other parts of the city,’’ he revealed.
It was around 12 p.m. that the trouble broke out. About 800 students set out for the Assembly from the OU Arts College but were greeted by scores of police personnel at the NCC Gate itself.
Soon enough, clashes erupted between the two sides. The area around the girls’ hostel resembled a battle zone with the students raining stones from one side and the police chasing them away with lathis.
With the situation spiralling out of control, the police lobbed tear gas shells and stun grenades, even on those standing on roof-tops causing injuries to dozens of students.
The enraged students pulled out tin sheets, drums and garbage bins, used them as “protective shields” and continued to stone the police.
Around the same time, a group of suspected OU students barged into the MMTS station on the Necklace road and smashed everything that came their way. They reportedly came in a train to the station. Terrified passengers ran helter-skelter to save themselves from the mob who also set afire the reservation office.
In the meantime, advocates, who were to take out a rally from the Necklace road to the Raj Bhavan, were taken into preventive custody.
Protests also broke out in the Nizam College where students raised pro-Telangana slogans.
Some girls managed to reach the Old Police Control Room and raised pro-Telangana slogans. Police officials, caught off-guard, had them arrested.
Late in the evening, students attacked the OU police station from all sides.
At one point of time, the police entered the campus and fought a pitched battle with the students but had to retreat as the students started throwing petrol bombs.