Hyderabad, February 21: It was a free-for-all for more than four hours at Tarnaka, sending the vehicular traffic on the busy road haywire. What was left after the pitched battle between Osmania University students and the police was a road strewn with stones, burning flexis and badly-damaged private and public properties.
Locals and passersby, who joined the protests, created havoc for sometime on the roads prompting the police to use force and lob teargas shells and, when they did not work, fire rubber bullets.
The Assembly Muttadi, which everyone thought had passed off peacefully as students dispersed by 2 pm, saw a sudden turn of events with the suicide attempt by a youth, S Yadaiah, on the campus.
As emotions ran high, students tried to venture out of the campus but the heavy security cordon made them confine to the campus.
After damaging and burning down a couple of buses and private vehicles at Jamia Osmania the students rushed back to the campus.
Around 4 pm the students and the police fought pitched battles when a group of nearly 30 students tried to make their way on the Tarnaka-Habsiguda road from jumping over the boundary wall at the A-Stadium on the campus. Police, who were posted there to prevent any intrusion by students on to the roads, used mild force and managed to push them back into the campus but came under heavy stone-throwing by the students.
As news about the incident spread across the campus, thousands of students rushed to the AStadium and indulged in heavy stone-hurling on the Tarnaka road.
As the students started rushing out of the campus, police who maintained the maximum restraint, initially used batons but it did not dissuade the students.
Police came under heavy attack as students climbed atop the stands of the stadium and threw stones on the police. They also burnt hoardings in the adjacent Huda office and threw stones on the offices. Students diffused several teargas shells with sand and hurled some others back at the police. Some policemen were seen throwing the teargas shells back at the students.
The electric wires snapped in the criss-crossing of the stones and other projectiles, and the area soon plunged into darkness as the transformer burst due to short-circuit.
Students demolished a part of the compound wall of the university and uprooted the barbed wire fencing.
Soon, hundreds of locals and passersby joined the protests targetting the police and also the mediapersons for videgraphing the rampaging students. The students paused for a brief while when lawyers and professors reached the place and tried to pacify them. But the calm did not last long and they were soon back at throwing stone on the police.
Violence spread with locals and students damaging flexis, hoardings, bus shelters and even damaging private properties.