Hyderabad: An explosive situation prevailed in Osmania University on Monday after a night of violence, police firing and arson over the Telangana issue, even as the Andhra Pradesh Assembly Speaker accepted the resignations of 12 of the 15 MLAs from the Telangana region.
The legislators whose resignations were accepted include all 10 of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) and one each of the main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
However, the Speaker has not yet taken a decision on the resignations of two legislators of the ruling Congress party and one of Praja Rajyam Party (PRP).
Hours before the Budget Session of the state legislature began, the Speaker announced that he has accepted the resignations of 11 legislators. The decision to accept the resignation of TDP legislator Chennamaneni Ramesh's resignation was announced Sunday night.
The TRS legislators who have resigned include its floor leader E Rajender, party chief K Chandrasekhara Rao's son K Tarakarama Rao and his nephew Harish Rao.
The 15 MLAs had submitted their resignations to Speaker N Kiran Kumar Reddy yesterday protesting the Terms of Reference of the Sri Krishna Committee, appointed by the Central government to look into the issue of the division of Andhra Pradesh.
The move followed the renewed call of the all-party Telangana Joint Action Committee (JAC) to legislators from the region to submit their resignations en masse.
Meanwhile, police and paramilitary forces laid siege to the Osmania University campus last night as the tension spread to neighbouring residential neighbourhood with residents coming out in support of students.
The sprawling campus plunged into darkness as police cut off electricity and stopped even ambulances from entering the university, eye witnesses said.
Leaders of university students’ Joint Action Committee alleged that the police entered hostels and beat up students. The JAC leaders threatened mass suicides if the police and paramilitary forces failed to vacate the campus.
Students set afire police tents on the campus and raised slogans of "police go back".
Police fired several rounds of rubber bullets and teargas shells at the Arts College. It also baton charged students and beat up journalists covering the students' protests.
Six media persons also sustained injuries and their cameras and other equipment were damaged in the police action on the campus, eye-witnesses said.
A large number of students including girls were still sitting on the campus protesting the police "brutality". A JAC leader and a journalist sustained serious injuries in the police baton charge.
Media persons alleged that it was a well-planned attack on them as the policemen abused them for covering the students’ protests and did not even spare their vehicles.
The trouble began when students took out a rally hailing the resignations of the 15 legislators and demanding others to quit. As the protestors tried to march towards Tarnaka area, police and paramilitary forces stopped them, leading to heated arguments.
A police officer claimed that students started pelting stones forcing them to baton-charge.
Tension gripped the sprawling campus, the nerve centre of the ongoing agitation over the demand for statehood to Telangana, as police action evoked widespread condemnation by student bodies and pro-Telangana parties.
The all-party JAC has condemned the police action on the campus. Police arrested JAC convenor M Kodandaram when he wanted to enter the campus to meet students.
The university has been witnessing clashes between students and police since the agitation began in November last year.
Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) chief K Chandrasekhara Rao appealed to the government to withdraw the police forces immediately from the campus.
Students and journalists in several Telangana districts came out on streets condemning police action in Osmania University. They took out rallies and blocked traffic.
Tension prevailed at Kakatiya University campus in Warangal town as police mobilised additional forces to tackle student protests.
(With IANS inputs)
First Published: Monday, February 15, 2010, 10:39