SC stays withdrawal of forces from Osmania University



New Delhi: The Supreme Court Friday stayed till February 23 the Andhra Pradesh High Court order directing withdrawal of Central paramilitary forces from Osmania University campus, the hotbed of the volatile Telangana agitation.

A bench of Justices G S Singhvi and T S Thakur, however, directed the state Home Secretary to ensure that the paramilitary forces are not allowed to misbehave in any manner with the students at the campus.

The apex court said the paramilitary forces shall operate strictly under the personal supervision of the Home Secretary.

The apex court passed the order on an appeal filed by the Andhra Pradesh government, challenging the High Court's direction to withdraw the paramilitary forces from the campus.

The AP government has also alleged that they strongly suspect that Maoists have infiltrated the movement and perhaps are inside the campus among the students.

However, this allegation was rebutted by Counsel Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the students.

Andhra Pradesh government had yesterday approached the apex court against the direction of the High Court asking it to move out paramilitary forces from the University campus.

The state government had assailed the February 16 order, saying the High Court cannot order the removal of paramilitary forces from the campus which is a hotbed of the agitation for a separate Telangana state.

A division bench of the High Court had on February 16 upheld the directions of a single judge to move out special forces from Osmania University campus.

The division bench had also said that the police should interfere with the administration of the university only on a specific request from the university authorities.

The bench had observed that the single judge was right in his analysis that the Rapid Action Force was deployed in the university campus without any study of the situation.

PTI