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Protests in AP against police ‘excesses’
HYDERABAD, JAN 8 (IANS):
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Published on 8 Jan. 2011 11:06 PM IST
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Protests continued in Telangana with protesters laying siege to the houses of state ministers, MPs and state legislators of ruling Congress and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) to demand their resignations.
Leaders and activists of Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) and other constituents of Telangana Joint Action Committee (TJAC) staged road blockades in different parts of Telangana protesting the police “excesses” on students at Osmania University in Hyderabad.
The protesters sat on the roads, disrupting vehicular traffic for several hours. Such protests were reported from Khammam, Warangal, Medak, Nalgonda, Karimnagar, Nizamabd, Mahabubnagar and Adilabad districts.
They demanded withdrawal of police and paramilitary forces from Osmnia University and lifting of curbs on media covering Telangana protests.
On a call given by Osmania University Joint Action Committee (OUJAC), students laid siege to the residences of ministers. They also staged protests outside the houses of MPs and state legislators belonging to both the ruling Congress and the main opposition TDP.
Police arrested scores of protesters in various towns in the region. The protests also led to tension in some areas as police used force to control the crowds.
Protesters laid siege to the house of minister Basvaraj Saraiah in Warangal. Another minister Sudershan Reddy’s house in Nizamabad was attacked.
There was also a huge protest outside the residence of MP Ponnam Prabhakar in Karimnagar.
The protesters wanted all ministers, MPs and legislators from the region to resign to mount pressure on the central government to table a bill in parliament during the budget session.
The protests were continuing in Telangana since Thursday when Srikrishna committee’s report was made public.
The panel strongly favoured keeping Andhra Pradesh united but suggested constitutional measures to ensure development of Telangana.
Osmania Varsity tense, TRS MP held
The situation in the Osmania University campus here remained tense Saturday as sporadic clashes between students and police continued for the third consecutive day while Member of Parliament Vijayashanti was arrested for trying to enter the campus.
Police used teargas and fired pellets to disperse students trying to take out procession to protest police “repression”. Police said the situation was still tense but under control. With continued restrictions on the media in the campus, little information was available about the happenings inside.
A fact-finding committee of state human rights commission visited the campus and met students, who complained of police excesses. The commission sent the nine-member panel following complaints by Telangana lawyers that police were trying to suppress the peaceful agitation.
Police, however, denied the allegations and said it was trying to stop students from coming out of the campus as this could create law and order problems.
The campus has been on the boil since Thursday when Srikrishna committee’s report was made public. The students are demanding immediate steps for formation of separate Telangana state.
Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) MP Vijayashanti was arrested by the police Saturday evening when she tried to enter the campus. Police stopped the Medak MP at the main gate when she wanted to go inside and talk to students.
She protested when police officials told her that nobody had permission to enter the campus. There were heated arguments between the officials and the actress-turned-politician. “Why can’t I go inside? Are there any terrorists inside,” she asked and accused police of suppressing the peaceful movement.
TRS leader K. Tarakarama Rao alleged that police were violating human rights in the campus. He said the central and state governments had hatched a conspiracy to suppress the agitation.
Leaders of main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) met Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy and demanded withdrawal of police and paramilitary forces from Osmania University and all other universities in Telangana. Congress legislator Damodar Reddy also demanded withdrawal of forces. He warned police officials using excessive force against students of serious consequences after formation of Telangana state. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders and workers took out a silent march in Hyderabad to demand withdrawal of forces from Osmania University and to protest media curbs.

 
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