All parties back Telangana shutdown after student suicides
Hyderabad: The self-immolation by two students over the delay in forming a separate Telangana state has intensified the movement as the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of students called for a shutdown on Wednesday, a move backed by all political parties.
The all-party JAC held an emergency meeting and decided to support the 24-hour shutdown call given by student leaders to protest the delay by the Central government in initiating the process for carving out the Telangana state.
The political JAC comprising the Congress party, Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) and other parties appealed to students not to get disheartened and commit suicide.
The JAC also decided that all elected representatives from the region would start submitting their resignation from Wednesday.
JAC convenor M Kodandaram told reporters that the delay in announcing the process and contradictory statements being given by central leaders of the Congress party had created doubts in people`s minds, leading to suicides by students and other Telangana supporters.
According to the JAC, over 30 supporters of Telangana have committed suicide during the last two months.
JAC leaders, including TRS chief K Chandrasekhara Rao, visited the Osmania University where hundreds of students continued their protest and staged a sit-in with the body of Venugopala Reddy, the student who set himself ablaze.
The campus remained tense as police mobilised additional forces to prevent possible violence.
The body of the MCA student of a city college was found on the campus early Tuesday. He said in his suicide note that he was ending his life as he was afraid that a Telangana state would not become a reality.
He also appealed to Congress president Sonia Gandhi to help carve out Telangana.
The suicide triggered angry protests by students across Telangana, comprising Hyderabad and nine other districts. Students of all universities boycotted exams, forcing the authorities to postpone them.
Later in the day, an 18-year-old girl student set herself ablaze in Mahabubnagar district of Andhra Pradesh, police said.
According to police, the deceased identified as Suvarna, a BSc first-year student at a private college in Kothakota town of Mahabubnagar district, attended her classes and returned home by 5.30 pm.
"Suvarna locked herself in a room and lit herself on fire after pouring kerosene," police said based on preliminary investigations.
A suicide note purportedly written by Suvarna, which was found in her room, said she was apprehensive whether Telangana would be formed or not.
The JAC of students has threatened to continue the sit-in on the Osmania University campus with the body of Venugopal Reddy unless the government accepted the demand for Rs 15 lakh compensation to his family.
TDP leader N Janardhan Reddy said all 39 TDP legislators from the region would press the Assembly Speaker to accept their resignations submitted last month.
Though the JAC has set January 28 as the deadline for the Central government to make a clear-cut announcement on Telangana, it decided that all elected representatives should start submitting resignations from Wednesday.
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