Following the demand by Telangana Congress leaders that the Central forces must be withdrawn and the alleged restrictions on media at the OU be lifted, state Home Minister P Sabita Reddy today convened a meeting of the Congress leaders, top police officials and varsity's peace committee.
"We told the Home Minister and officials that a war-like atmosphere prevails at the University. Messes are closed. There are reports of hostels being attacked. Students fear of pellets and rubber bullets that are being fired," Congress Lok Sabha member M Jagannatham told reporters.
"Also, the restrictions on media have to be lifted, because we don't come to know what is happening inside the University. We sought relaxation on these things," he said.
Telugu Desam leaders from Telangana and TRS had also earlier demanded that the forces must be withdrawn from the Osmania University, the nerve-centre of separate statehood agitation by the students.
The Home Minister, however, clarified that there is no truth in the propaganda that central security forces have been deployed in the university campus. "We called this meeting to explain what is actually happening in the University...The propaganda that forces have been deployed in the University and that the students are facing trouble is not correct."
"Forces have been stationed outside the University as a precautionary measure in view of the incidents that happened earlier," she told reporters after the meeting.
DGP K Aravinda Rao said there is no truth in reports that security personnel attacked some hostels and that the students were not allowed to move about freely. "The public representatives had some misconceptions about the behaviour of policemen and that excess force was used in the University."
There are no restrictions on students' movement, he said.
Hyderabad Police Commissioner A K Khan said he will hold a meeting with the representatives of media on how the information can be furnished.
"Mediapersons are coming to the University. But now the complaint is that there are restrictions on reporting. Apart from the National Broadcasters Association (NBA) advisory, there are some clear orders from the High Court.
Then Cable Network Regulation Act, 1995 is there. We have written a letter to them on these issues. When the media representatives meet me, we will discuss the whole issue threadbare and take a decision," he said.
On the complaint that messes have been closed, Osmania University Vice Chancellor T Tirupati Rao said some messes have been closed for the winter vacation but no student would be deprived of food.
Hyderabad: Pressure on Sunday mounted on Andhra Pradesh government to withdraw central security forces from Osmania University, the hotbed of Telangana agitation.
First Published: Sunday, January 09, 2011, 21:13