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Telangana shakes Andhra Pradesh
Hyderabad, Dec 28 (IANS):
Published on 28 Dec. 2009 10:43 PM IST
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Tension prevailed at Osmania University here Monday as police arrested more students who had launched a hunger strike demanding that the central government immediately initiate the process for the formation of Telangana state by splitting Andhra Pradesh. Police had a tough time removing six students and shifting them to hospital as hundreds of others resisted their attempts. These students had launched a ‘fast unto death’, hours after some of their colleagues on hunger strike were shifted to a hospital by police. A large number of policemen in riot gear including personnel of the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) surrounded the Arts College building on the campus to arrest students on hunger strike. Raising slogans of “police go back”, students squatted on the ground and refused to leave the campus despite the university authorities closing down all hostels and messes. Leaders of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of students had a heated argument with police officials and alleged that their peaceful agitation was being suppressed. The arrests in a late night operation by police came hours after students announced their plans to hold a meeting and called for a ‘Chalo Hyderabad’ march Jan 3. Hyderabad Police Commissioner B. Prasada Rao, in a statement Sunday night, said permission would not be given for the ‘vidyarthi garjna’ or the intensified agitation planned by the students JAC Jan 3 at Osmania University. The JAC has threatened to lay siege to the city with students from across the region joining the march if the central government failed to make an announcement for initiating the process for the formation of Telangana state by Jan 2. In an attempt to prevent mobilisation of students, university authorities also issued an order closing down all hostels and messes till Jan 5. The university has already declared holidays. Police disrupted the hunger strike camp at the campus around midnight and shifted 18 students to hospital. The condition of some of them had deteriorated as the hunger strike had entered the fifth day. Police used force and arrested about 50 students who tried to resist shifting of their colleagues to hospital. Tension also prevailed at Kakatiya University in Warangal town Monday as a local legislator joined students who were on hunger strike. Meanwhile, protests for a separate state continued in Hyderabad and nine other districts in Telangana. On an appeal by the all-party JAC, processions and demonstrations would be held in all villages Monday and Tuesday. After a six-hour meeting that ended Sunday night, the JAC also called for a shutdown Wednesday. Since about 70 out of 119 legislators from the region have already submitted their resignations, the JAC decided to meet Andhra Speaker Kirankumar Reddy and urge him to accept the resignations immediately.

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