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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Is Telangana Pak HC asks cops - Keep Off OU Campus, Court Tells Anjaneyulu and Co

Hyderabad: Censuring the police for its excess use of force against Osmania University students on Sunday, the AP High Court on Monday directed the state director general of police (DGP) and the Hyderabad police commissioner to immediately withdraw the entire paramilitary and special forces deployed on the university campus . The court also directed the police to remove the tents, barricades, etc set up on the campus. Justice L Narasimha Reddy made this interim order after hearing an urgent lunch motion moved by U Anitha, an OU student, and three others who challenged the entry of police into their campus and sought their withdrawal. Addressing the state counsel, the judge wanted to know if the state and its police were treating Telangana as Pakistan and the OU campus as the Wagah border. Why this hungama Was there any looting, arson or murder Even girl students were ill treated. Who is this PSR Anjaneyulu, the joint commissioner of police, who orders mayhem first and then apologises to the media at the end of the day. He must not enter the campus, the judge observed while hearing the case.

S Satyam Reddy, the counsel for the petitioners, told the court that Sundays police action on students and journalists was totally unprovoked and uncalled for. The police attack was indiscriminate and aimed at creating terror in the minds of the students due to which they now feel insecure on their own campus, he said and added that girl students were badly abused. Agreeing with the counsel, the judge was critical of the way the police behaved with the students. They blocked all the ways, switched off the power and created a mayhem , the judge said. Further, the judge said some police officers were ensuring that the campus remained on fire. While it was Stephen (Ravindra) who was responsible for the previous mayhem at the campus, it was Anjaneyulu this time. Stephen was thrown out after the first incident because the government realised the damage later. Your DGP is not acting up to his level, justice Narasimha Reddy said.

According to sources, the state government is likely to challenge the interim order. Special government pleader S Sriram told the court that the police entered the campus after an objective assessment of a threat perception. A CRPF tent was set on fire when there were eight persons inside. Some students broke open the police cordon at Tarnaka, the special government counsel said. Dismissing the counsels views, the judge said, there was no such provocation at all. This court is of the view that the police in thousands have determined to enter the campus and create tension and insecurity on the campus. However, the directed the authorities to keep the civilian forces at the local police station to be available in case of any trouble. But, the judge said, they should be sent in only at the request of the vice chancellor. They can verify whether a person is a student , hosteller or an outsider, the judge said. On their part, the students should not disturb any classes or examinations. The violators should be dealt with in accordance with the law, the judge said. The judge advised the university to have a security of its own to regulate the entry of vehicles or individuals into the campus.
Ruthless cops rough up scribes

Hyderabad: Its police raj in the state. Perhaps buoyed by the presence of a retired policeman in Raj Bhavan, the state policemen on Monday unleashed a two-hour attack on the media on Osmania University campus that resulted in serious injuries to three journalists and destruction of seven of their vehicles. The attack came within hours after home minister Sabita Indra Reddy and director general of police R R Girish Kumar apologising for the police attack on the media on the Osmania campus on Sunday. The violence unleashed by the cops was in spite of the media persons displaying their identity cards, cameras or microphones .

This was to rule out the possibility of their being mistaken for students. M Narsing Rao, reporter with local TV channel ABN-Andhrajyothi , was attacked by the police when was going on his twowheeler behind Arts College a little after 10.30 am on Monday. We had a little before that captured on camera the police lathicharge near B hostel and I was on my way to hand over the tape to the OB van. I stopped to answer a phone call when all of a sudden, about 20 policemen came from behind and surrounded me, Narsing Rao told. I was carrying my microphone which had the logo of my TV channel. I also was wearing my press identity card in a chain around my neck. The policemen stopped me, hurled abuses, and beat me up mercilessly with their lathis despite me screaming that I was a reporter, Narsing Rao said. Even as he was lying on the ground writhing in pain, the cops in an ugly demonstration of lawless behaviour opened the petrol pipe of the reporters motor-cycle and set it on fire. And as if that were not enough, some cops also urinated on the vehicle before leaving the spot, the reporter added.
T activists go berserk - 15 Buses Damaged In RR Dist, Banks Attacked In Huzurabad

Hyderabad: Violence rocked Vikarabad town in Ranga Reddy district on Monday when T agitators went on a rampage, damaging public and private property in protest against the police high-handedness on Osmania University (OU) students. Elsewhere at Huzurabad in Karimnagar district, angry protestors attacked banks. T activists targeted some Andhra hotels/eateries and RTC buses in Vikarabad, 60 km from here, in the afternoon in protest against police action on Osmania University students. The mob pelted stones on 15 RTC buses and damaged their windowpanes. They also targeted two petrol bunks and two cinema halls. The agitators later attacked a police station in which several cops were injured in stone pelting.

In Huzurabad, the protestors damaged furniture and broke glasspanes of Andhra Bank, ING Vysya and State Bank of Hyderabad. JAC activists also attacked the mandal office. Four RTC buses were damaged by agitators in Mandamarri, while huge trees were felled and laid across the road in Durki in Kirkoor mandal of Adilabad district. The Armoor panchyat office was attacked and furniture destroyed by the protestors. Dharnas, rasta rokos, rallies and protest demonstrations were organised in all the Telangana districts demanding severe action against the guilty police.

Thousands of Kakatiya University students, MPRS and TRS activists took out massive rallies in Warangal, while advocates boycotted courts. Ten students scaled the house of Adilabad MLA Jogu Ramanna (TDP) and threatened to commit suicide. However, they were brought down by the cops.
Traffic was stranded for over four hours at Patancheru in Medak district .Traffic movement on NH-7 at Indalwai in Nizamabad was also hit with protestors staging rasta roko.

Speaker accepts resignations of 11 MLAs

Assembly speaker N Kiran Kumar Reddy on Monday accepted the resignations of 11 of the 15 MLAs who had submitted their resignations on Sunday in protest against the justice Srikrishna committees terms of reference. The speaker had accepted the resignation of Vemulawada TDP MLA Ch Ramesh on Sunday night itself. Hours before the budget session of the state assembly commenced, the speaker took the decision accepting 11 resignations. Rameshs was the only resignation letter which was found valid among those of several MLAs who had sought to quit in December last year. However, the resignation of Ramesh that was accepted this time around by the speaker was a fresh one submitted by the MLA in protest against the Srikrishna panels terms of reference. The speaker is still to decide on the resignation of Congress MLAs R Damodar Reddy and Ch Mutyam Reddy and Maheshwar Reddy of the PRP. Meanwhile, TRS president K Chandrasekhar Rao and party Medak MP Vijayashanti are scheduled to meet the Lok Sabha speaker in New Delhi on Wednesday and submit their resignations. Meanwhile, N Lakshman Rao, the lone TRS MLC, submitted his resignation to Council chairman A Chakrapani. TNN
CM unhappy over Cong MLAs walkout

Hyderabad: Chief minister K Rosaiah rued that his party MLAs and MLCs from Telangana should not have walked out on governor E S L Narasimhan, while he was delivering his joint address to members of both the Houses. Speaking to mediapersons on Monday, he said, It should not have been done. This is not the way. These acts do not enhance the dignity of the House. The chief minister said since the Government of India was seized of the matter, elected representatives should start focusing on issues of public concern. He offered apology to mediapersons who were injured in the police lathicharge and assured that action would be taken based on the report of the State Human Rights Commission .
Guv avoids T-word , but calls for peace - Jalayagnam Projects Likely To Be Delayed

Hyderabad: Governor ESL Narsimhans address to both Houses of the legislature on the first day of the budget session passed off peacefully barring initial sloganeering by ruling Congress members demanding separate Telangana on Monday. The governor , while not mentioning the T word, stressed on the need to ensure peace for development of the state. The governor faced the din for a minute when the hall reverberated with slogans of Jai Telangana and Samaikya Andhra. While the Congress members from Telangana displayed placards and staged a walkout minutes before the governors address came to an end, the TDP members from T-region boycotted the address. During his 45-minute address, the governor also had to face jeering by TDP members when he pointed at certain drawbacks in implementation of various schemes.

The MIM members raised slogans when the governor said that the government was committed to provide 4 per cent reservation to Muslim minorities. However, unfazed with the protests and repeated disruptions, Narsimhan continued to list out the developmental programmes being implemented by the government. During the last few months the state has been going through difficult times affecting public order, peace and image of the state, he said. Narsimhan said that though Jalayagnam benefited the state as it achieved an average annual growth rate of 8.98 per cent in food grains, but due to the sudden fall in revenues , the Jalayagnam projects may get delayed. The requests of the state government to take up Pranahita-Chevella , Polavaram, Kanthanapally and Dummugudem irrigation projects as national projects were under active consideration of the Centre, the governor informed. The BHELNTPC Mannavaram power equipment manufacturing project would commence shortly and the government is hopeful of completing the project in a phased manner in the next two to three years, he said. Stating that the main focus of the government would be agriculture and allied activities, he said that the government would continue free power supply for seven hours a day apart from Pavala Vaddi scheme on the crop loans taken by farmers.
JAC nixes TDP proposal

Hyderabad: The Telangana JAC convener M Kodandaram on Monday turned down TDPs proposal to hand over 38 resignation letters to him with an assurance that they would meet the Speaker and get them accepted if the Congress MLAs from Telangana region also announce their decision to quit the assembly. Talking to media, Kodandaram said that handing over the letters to him would not serve any purpose and instead , they should give them to Speaker directly. I am not the authority to accept them, Kodandaram said. He was of the opinion that the TDP should not wait for Congress MLAs. If TDP also resigns than it would become easy to mount pressure on the Congress MLAs, he felt. But TDP leaders N Janardhan Reddy and others feel that it would only result in forcing a by election. No constitutional crisis can be created by about 50 people resigning from the assembly, Janardhan Reddy said. On the other hand, the BJP floor leader G Kishen Reddy is understood to have decided to seek an opportunity from the speaker to explain in the assembly why he wants to resign.

According to Kodandaram, since the deadline for the Telangana MLAs to resign was over on Monday evening, the JAC will put pressure on them by organising agitational programmes in front of their houses from Tuesday. Asked if the JAC would move its office to another place in the wake of Speakers decision not to allow any political meetings in the premises of MLA quarters, he said he was yet to receive the orders and would abide by it. Strongly condemning the police lathicharge on students at OU, the JAC leader demanded government to withdraw police forces from the campus immediately.
Change TOR, Cong leaders urge Sonia

Hyderabad: Congress leaders from Telangana region on Monday urged party president Sonia Gandhi to amend the terms of reference (TOR) for the Srikrishna commission to favour creation of a separate state.
The MLAs and MLCs, who boycotted the governors address to joint session of both Houses of legislature met at a hotel on Monday night and drafted a letter to party president Sonia Gandhi, narrating the problems faced by Congress leaders from Telangana . The meeting was presided over by MLA Basavaraju Saraiah. In a three-page letter, the leaders narrated the woes of Congress leaders, saying that they were unable to tour their constituencies as they fear attacks by the Telangana activists. People are not inclined to believe that the Congress is working to create the state of Telangana. In disbelief, they are hurling all sorts of abusive language on the Congress leaders, they lamented. Stressing the need to dispel the apprehensions that the Congress was trying to delay the formation of Telangana state, they said there was no option but to amend the TOR in favour of Telangana.

They also pointed out that the TOR for the Srikrishna commission, was at variance with the December 9, 2009 statement of Union home minister P Chidambaram. We sincerely feel that the terms of reference are not in tune with the December 9 statement of union home minister , who made his statement on the creation of Telangana on behalf of government of India, the letter said. They urged Sonia to allow them to resign from Assembly, Council and Parliament, if the party failed to amend TOR. They also brought to her notice how a situation where in they were not able to continue either in the party or in politics was being created as the party was unable to spell out its stand on Telangana. If the party fails to win the confidence of the people in the region, it is next to impossible for us to continue in the party, the leaders said in the letter.

DGP orders inquiry into OU violence

Director general of police (DGP) R R Girish Kumar has named additional director general of police (CID) A Sivanarayana to probe Sundays violence on the OU campus and submit his report in a week. Acting on the directions of the state government, the DGP ordered an inquiry on Monday night. The inquiry will find out the circumstances that led to violence at OU in which students, media and police personnel suffered injuries. The nature of police response to the situation at OU will also be probed, Girish Kumar said. 
Sabita shooed away from hospital - Injured Girl Students Hold Minister Responsible For Police Action

Hyderabad: Home minister Sabita Indra Reddy visiting the recuperating students in Durga Bai Deskhmukh Hospital was caught unawares when the injured girl students cornered her and held her responsible for their plight. D Swapna, pursuing MA (Telugu) while questioning her visit lamented , Why did you come here It was you who made the police beat us yesterday and today you come to enquire about our health Being the home minister, you should take responsibility for the police action. Swapna was hit by a rubber bullet on her leg. When the home minister tried to pacify her, another student demanded her resignation. You are a woman, but failed to secure our rights. You resign and only then come to see our condition, said Sri Vani, who is pursuing MA (Political Science). Vani, an asthma patient, was suffocated when police fired tear gas during the violence on campus on Sunday night. She had fainted and her condition stabilised only on Monday.

Cornered by the barrage of questions , the home minister spirited away from the hospital within minutes without visiting the other students . Angry with the high-handed stand of the police, female students still recovering from the shock said that they were subjected to physical abuse by the policemen. We were protesting peacefully. But the policemen, using filthy language , pulled our hair and kicked us. They fired tear gas shells and we had to run helter skelter in the night. Some of our friends injured themselves in the melee, said Varalakshmi , one of the victims who resides in the womens hostel on the campus. Since Sunday night, 22 OU students sought treatment at Durga Bai Deshmukh Hospital of which 15 were admitted. Hospital superintendent Dr Y S N Murthy said, Of the 15 students admitted , five have now been discharged and the rest are stable. They were treated for minor injuries. One male student who suffered a fracture near the elbow joint will be operated on February 16.

Five policemen are getting treated for minor injuries at Yashoda Hospital , Secunderabad. M Narsing Rao, a reporter who suffered multiple contusion injuries on his back due to repeatedly getting beaten by lathi was treated at Yashoda Hospital, Somajiguda. He was later discharged after treatment. One student who was admitted at Gandhi Hospital on Sunday night was discharged after he was given first aid.
T-agitators target ministers houses

Hyderabad: Telangana protesters on Monday attacked the houses of several Congress ministers and MLAs to press for their resignations from the assembly. Raising slogans to the effect that the Congress ministers and MLAs should quit the House and work for Telangana state, the protesters, including ABVP activists, pelted stones, threw cow dung, eggs and tomatoes at the houses of Congress leaders in Warangal, Nalgonda, Khammam, Adilabad, Medak, Karimnagar, Nizamabad and Ranga Reddy districts. The only TDP MLA who was targeted by the protesters was K Harishwar Reddy from Parigi in Ranga Reddy district. In Hyderabad, girls students who suffered injuries due to police action on Osmania University campus, heckled home minister P Sabita Indra Reddy and raised slogans against her when she called on them at Durgabhai Deshmukh Hospital on Monday.

Sources said, these attacks virtually sealed the chances of ministers and MLAs visiting their constituencies and towns in future. The Congress has 52 MLAs from Telangana. Barring a few MLAs who are actively involved in the T movement, ministers and MLAs have stopped the tours in the region for the past three months. Those who ventured out had to face the wrath of the activists. Largest number of attacks took place in Warangal district where the house of irrigation minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah had become the target of ire along with the houses of MLAs Konda Surekha, M Kavita, T Rajaiah, Gandra Venkataramana Reddy and MLC Rajalingam. The attackers are said to belong to the ABVP. Around the same time, attacks took place on the houses of minister Komatireddy Venktareddy and Gutha Sukhender Reddy, Lok Sabha member from Nalgonda. The house of MLA T Lingaiah was also targeted by the protesters in Narketpalli. Similarly T-protagonists attacked the houses of minister P Sudarshan Reddy in Nizamabad district . Reddy is the lone MLA from the Congress from the district. Reddy has been avoiding the district ever since the T-trouble started brewing in the district. When he first tried to visit the town last week, activists forced him to give an assurance that he would resign from the cabinet if the terms of reference for the Srikrishna commission were against the Telangana. So, the activists today demanded his resignation both from the cabinet and the assembly.

Advocates from the town staged a dharna in front of the house of PCC president D Srinivas. Incidentally, DS is not a member of the assembly. In Khammam, the house of minister R Venkat Reddy was attacked by the members of Progressive Democratic students Union (PDSU), who demanded his immediate resignation. The activist attacked the house of Athram Sakkum, the lone MLA from the Congress in Adilabad district with tomatoes and stones. They staged dharna in front of the houses of minister D Sridhar and MP Ponnam Prabhakar in Karimnagar district. In Mahbubnagar, windows of minister D K Arunas house were damaged by T-activists . Police had to resort to lathicharge to quell the mob. The miscreants attacked the houses of ministers Damodar Rajanarasimha and Sunitha Lakshma Reddy in Sangareddy and Narsapur respectively in Medak district.

Meanwhile, the speakers decision on the resignations of Congress MLAs R Damodar Reddy and Ch Mutyam Reddy is awaited. Talking to media , Damodar Reddy said there would be no going back on the resignation despite the attempts to persuade him by the party. I will not take back my resignation from the assembly, Reddy said.

Opposition parties boycott Assembly breakfast

The demand for separate T state and the lathicharge on students and mediamen at Osmania University on Sunday night had its impact on the customary breakfast hosted by the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and the chairman of the council on Monday. The TDP, including opposition leader N Chandrababu Naidu, CPI and BJP on Monday boycotted the customary breakfast. The Congress was divided on this issue as the ministers from Telangana region came for the breakfast while the MLAs decided to keep away. Soon after the chief minister and other leaders came to Jubilee Hall in Public Gardens, where the breakfast was hosted, media representatives raised slogans against the attack on them by police. The scribes demanded suspension of the policemen responsible for the attack. The chief minister called the media persons, offered his regrets over the incident and assured that action would be taken after he receives the report from the human rights commission. He also told them that he would take measures to ensure that such incidents do not occur again in future.
Cops foil students plan

Hyderabad: Protesting Sundays police action on Osmania University campus , Nizam College hostel inmates set up an open air kitchen and tried to have lunch on the busy Basheerbagh road on Monday afternoon. However, police foiled their plan and resorted to lathicharge to disperse them from the spot.
At around 1 pm, nearly 200 students trooped out of the hostel holding plates and tried to have lunch on the road. Even as they sat on the road, policemen arrived on the spot. They tried to convince the students to vacate the road near Ayakar Bhavan as city police commissioner A K Khan was scheduled to pass that way. The students refused and when policemen tried to move them, they raised slogans and refused to budge. They hurled the plates at the police when the latter resorted to lathicharge. The policemen drove them into the hostel and locked up the main gates. After two hours, they opened the gates and allowed students and visitors out. As a precautionary measure, police have been deployed at Nizam College and Hostel.

Meanwhile, the Begum Bazar police resorted to lathicharge at M J Market when 200 students of City College tried to stage a rally against the prohibitory orders. At around 11.30 am, the students planned to stage a rally from City College to M J Market, but police stopped it midway.
CM scares mantris with prez rule

Hyderabad: Chief minister K Rosaiah is believed to have lost his cool during the cabinet meeting on Monday and told ministers that if they continue to behave in the same manner, the state will soon be under presidents rule. He is learnt to have expressed his anger and agony over congress MLAs raising slogans during Governors address. He said it was an insult to the party and the high command. According to sources, Rosaiah expressed his unhappiness over the failure of ministers to have control on MLAs from their region. If things go beyond a point, there will be nothing in my hands and do not blame me if presidents rule is imposed, he is said to have remarked. Referring to growing differences among the ministers, the CM said: If regionalism comes to fore or gains primacy among ministers , it is difficult to run the government. Welfare schemes and all other developmental activities will suffer. If none of you are interested lets get the House dissolved and go home.
Probe into attacks on scribes

Hyderabad: Police on Monday attacked mediapersons on Osmania University campus that resulted in serious injuries to three journalists. M Narsing Rao, a reporter with local TV channel ABN Andhra jyothi , was attacked by the police when he was going on his two-wheeler on the campus. After attacking Narsing Rao, the police personnel continued this mindless rampage for another two hours in which they roughed up Studio N reporter Gopia Yadava and Sakshi photographer Ramakrishna Reddy. The rampaging cops also damaged seven two-wheelers belonging to media personnel apart from setting on fire the vehicle of Narsing Rao.

On Sunday night, HMTV reporter Harish, Zee news reporter Nagaraju Gupta, Eenadu reporter Ramakrishna , ETV cameraman Ravi Varma and MAHAA TV reporter Srinivas suffered injuries in the police attack. After protests from the media organizations at Secretariat , home minister Sabita Indra Reddy said an inquiry has been ordered into the attacks on the media by police personnel on Monday and that she has called for a meeting of senior officials with journalist organisations on Tuesday. Action will be taken against the guilty after video footage identifies them, she added.

However, media personnel brought to her notice a similar unfulfilled assurance given by her about an incident that took place in December 2009 in which a TV channel reporter was injured in an attack by police near OU. After the attacks, many media personnel covering the incidents on OU campus were of the view that the police attacks were deliberate. It appeared that it was a calculated plan to force the media out of the campus by making them worry about their own safety so that there will be no record of police atrocities inside the campus, averred a senior media person . Later, the media personnel lodged a complaint at the OU police station regarding all the attacks on scribes.

Mondays attacks took place even as the state government responded to the attacks on the members of the media on OU campus on Sunday . Action will be taken on the erring cops based on the report of the Human Rights Commission, chief minister K Rosaiah said on Monday. Meanwhile, six media personnel sat on a fast unto death protest near the B hostel on Monday night, demanding immediate arrest of those responsible for the attack on journalists.

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