HYDERABAD: Monday’s arrest of Osmania University students for staging a protest outside a hotel at Habsiguda is snowballing into a controversy with civil society groups, activists and academicians slamming the State government for clamping down on what they termed was a democratic protest.
Led by the Telangana Praja Front (TPF), activists of various organisations on Tuesday warned Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao of a series of protests across the state, if he went ahead with his proposal to take over 11 acres of OU land for building houses to the poor.
Speaking to newsmen here on Tuesday, civil rights activist Prof G Haragopal lamented that in the last one year of the TRS government, there was no significant improvement on the rights’ front.
“With arrests of students being the latest, the TRS government has done it all. There were encounter killings, lock-up deaths and permissions were denied to hold meetings,” he pointed out. Unless a government allow its people to voice their protest and organise demonstrations, it cannot be termed democratic, he observed.
Meanwhile, TPF president P Maddileti demanded the release of students who were picked up by the police after they had organised a protest on Monday against the government’s proposal to take over the university lands. As many as 17 students of the Telangana Vidyarthi Vedika were detained by the police when they staged a protest outside a hotel, belonging to a TRS leader, in Habsiguda.
The TVV activists resorted to the protest alleging that the hotel was built on encroached land belonging to the university. While eight students were let off, nine more students are still in police custody and all have been slapped with criminal cases.
Maddileti alleged that the Chief Minister was behaving like a stooge of Seemandhra leaders and was shielding land grabbers. “It was KCR, before coming to power, who had promised to crack the whip on land grabbers. But today, he is siding with them,” he alleged.
Pasham Yadagiri of the Telangana Aikya Karyacharana Samithi also alleged that a huge conspiracy was underway with the TRS government colluding with land-grabbers to sell off public lands for a song.
Ou Students Attack Petrol Bunk
A day after student activists from Osmania University attacked a hotel in Habsiguda, another group affiliated to another student organisation from the university attacked a petrol pump at Tarnaka crossroads on Tuesday. As many as 50 students belonging to Telangana State Vidyarthi Nirudyoga Joint Action Committee (TVN JAC) and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) staged a protest demonstration outside the petrol pump and attacked the properties there in spite of heavy police deployment. They pelted stones and tried to destroy the properties. Police took around 20 persons into custody and bundled them away to Bollarum police station. On Monday, students belonging to Telangana Vidyarthi Vedika(TVV) of OU had attacked a building owned by ruling TRS party legislator Muthireddy Yadagiri Reddy alleging that the building was constructed on OU’s encroached lands.