Hyderabad police on alert to foil students’ agitation

Hyderabad police have gone on alert, anticipating trouble in view of Osmania University students’ Joint Action Committee’s (JAC) siege of the Andhra Pradesh state assembly Saturday to demand resignations of all elected representatives from Telangana over the statehood issue.

Police have declared the protest “illegal” and announced deployment of over 20,000 personnel from police and paramilitary forces to deal with any eventuality.

Prohibitory orders banning assembly of five or more persons have been imposed in Hyderabad and Cyberabad police commissionerates while police in other districts of Telangana were on alert to prevent students from reaching the state capital.

Chief Minister K. Rosaiah and leaders of the ruling Congress party from Telangana have appealed to students to withdraw their protest plan. “All the students are like my children and no father will be happy if their studies are affected,” Rosaiah said.

Seeking cooperation from the people, Hyderabad Police Commissioner A.K. Khan Friday announced several traffic restrictions. The police will seal all routes leading towards the assembly building and five flyovers will be put out of bounds for traffic, he said.

“The protest is illegal as it has no police permission. Nobody even approached us for permission,” Khan said.

He appealed to parents and teachers to restrain students from participating in the protest and warned that those violating law would be dealt with as per the provisions of law. Khan did not rule out preventive arrests of JAC leaders.

The unprecedented security arrangements have been made in view of the recent violence in Osmania University, where police and paramilitary forces allegedly used excessive force on students, including girls.

The police action on the campus has come under severe criticism from the high court, which not only reprimanded the government and police but also ordered all paramilitary forces to be pulled out from the campus.

The state government, however, approached the Supreme Court, which Friday stayed the high court order.

The government has defended deployment of paramilitary forces and police action on the campus on the grounds that some anti-social elements had allegedly entered the campus.

The student’s JAC has demanded that all elected representatives from Telangana resign to pressurise the central government to revise terms of the Srikrishna Committee looking into the statehood demand.

So far, only 15 legislators have submitted their resignations and the speaker has accepted resignations of 12 of them, including all 10 of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS).

While the Congress legislators have rejected the direction of all-party Joint Action Committee to all elected representatives to quit, the opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leaders sent their resignations to JAC convenor M.Kodandaram to mount pressure on the Congress.

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