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Monday, February 15, 2010

OU turns war zone again - 40 Students Injured In Police Lathicharge

Hyderabad: Osmania University turned volatile yet again on Sunday evening. Police and students fought pitched battles for over five hours. At the end of the police mayhem, nearly 40 students , including seven girl students, suffered injuries. Police fired teargas shells, rubber bullets, snapped power to some hostels, broke streetlights and tried every trick in the book to quell the agitators, but the students fought pitched battles. At around 6 pm, OU Joint Action Committee (JAC) wanted to take out a rally with hundreds of students demanding public representatives quit their posts.

Trouble started when one of the students, Bhaskar, was roughed up by police personnel for trying to lead the rally out of the campus. A heated argument ensued between the two groups. With police refusing to allow the students to take out the rally, the agitating students reportedly set fire to tents of police and paramilitary personnel near Arts College and a lathicharge ensued. At around 6.30 pm, police personnel, in small groups, tried to chase away students from Arts College to their hostels and in the process rained lathis on students. Several students who had stayed back in their hostels without participating in the agitation were also targeted.

With some students retaliating with stones, the seething policemen damaged many vehicles, including OB vans of some news channels, parked near Arts College. Meanwhile, policemen sealed off all entry/exit points to the campus with barbed wires turning it into a virtual police camp. They did not allow even 108 ambulances into the campus. We were chased like dogs and beaten. I saw many girl students running helter-skelter . One girl was dragged by her hair by policemen and kicked on the stomach, Bujji Babu, an OU student, said. Nagamani, a post-graduate student of political science department, suffered severe injuries on her neck as she was hit by the heel of a lathi.

However, violence spilled over to the nearby Manikeswari Nagar when the local residents tried to march to OU campus to assist the injured students. The residents who had gathered in hundreds were chased away by the canewielding policemen.

OU examinations postponed

OU authorities on Sunday decided to postpone semester examinations to be held on Monday. The I and III semester examinations of MBA and MCA students were scheduled for Monday. Exams of affiliated MBA and MCA colleges also were postponed.
15 T MLAs resign

Hyderabad: Upset over the terms of reference for the Srikrishna committee, 15 Telangana MLAs submitted their resignations to the Speaker N Kiran Kumar Reddy on Sunday afternoon. Among those who resigned are 10 TRS MLAs, two Congress MLAs, one TDP MLA, one PRP MLA, and the lone BJP MLA. Considering that Telangana returns 119 MLAs, this means that only a little over 10 per cent of the legislators have put in their papers. In addition to this, all TDP MLAs from Telangana have decided to boycott the budget session of the assembly that begins on Monday and the Speaker announced the acceptance of the resignation of TDP MLA Ch Ramesh. Ramesh was the only TDP MLA to submit his resignation on December 13 which was as per the prescribed format.

Unlike last time, the MLAs submitted individual one-line letters to the Speaker expressing their desire to resign from the assembly and urged him to accept it with immediate effect, senior Congress leader R Damodar Reddy told media. The letters read :I am hereby tendering my resignation from the Andhra Pradesh Assembly. Please accept it with immediate effect. This according to TRS leader T Harish Rao was as per the prescribed format . The Speaker spoke to the MLAs individually before receiving the letters. Damodar Reddy hoped that other Telangana Congress MLAs would also submit their resignation letters by Monday evening. The Speaker is likely to announce his decision on Monday.

The 15 MLAs who resigned reached the JAC office by 10 am, but they had to wait till 2 pm as the Speaker was not available in his office . Around 1 pm, they tried to take out a rally to Gunpark , the Telangana martyrs memorial near assembly. Mild tension prevailed as the police tried to prevent them pointing out that section 144 was in force. But later the police relented. The MLAs later met the speaker and submitted their resignations. Though four Congress MLAs had announced their decision to resign on Saturday, two of them, P Narsa Reddy and Bikshmaiah Goud backed out following a meeting with PCC president D Srinivas on Sunday morning. The 15 MLAs who resigned are T Harish Rao, K T Rama Rao, E Rajender, N Odelu, G Aravind Reddy, K Sammaiah, A Ravinder Reddy, K Vidyasagar Rao, K Eeshwar and D Vinay Bhaskar (TRS). R Damodar Reddy, Ch Mutyam Reddy (Congress). A Lakshminarayana (BJP). A Maheswar Reddy (PRP) and Ch Ramesh (TDP).

Call to boycott Seemandhra products

In a move that spells further trouble, political Joint Action Committee convener M Kodandaram has given a call to people of Telangana region to boycott all products manufactured in Seemandhra and services provided by people from the two regions. JAC also proposes to give a call for social boycott of MLAs who refuse to resign. Addressing the media on Sunday evening after a meeting with available leaders of JAC, Kodandaram said that soon the JAC would come out with a list of products to be boycotted. TNN
Cameras of mediamen snatched by cops

Hyderabad: Police encircled media personnel on the Osmania University campus and took away their cameras and memory cards even as they arrived at the spot to cover the clash between students and cops on Sunday. They even broke streetlights to hunt down the agitating students to avoid coming under the media glare. It was dark and we could not even see from where the policemen were firing. Every time an explosion happened, students ran in different directions, B N Reddy , another student, said. Even academics , including Telangana JAC convener M Kodandaram were not allowed to enter the campus. Kodandaram was later arrested and bundled away while he was staging a protest near the English and Foreign Languages University Campus. However, police maintained that none of the students was injured.

No student was injured to the best of my knowledge. We resorted to lathicharge only when the students started pelting stones to make way through the police cordon to the Tarnaka main road, joint commissioner (coordination and security) P S R Anjaneyulu said.The cornered students threatened mass suicide if police force was not withdrawn immediately. At around 11 pm, police finally trooped out of OU on orders from higher authorities.


Hyderabad: After a marathon meeting on Sunday, 39 TDP MLAs from Telanagana region reiterated their willingness to resign, provided Congress MLAs took the lead. Analysts said that this was a farce because these TDP legislators knew that the Congress high command would never allow the Congress MLAs to resign enmasse. TDP leader N Janardhan Reddy insisted that 27 MLAs - from the Telangana region -who were in city have submitted their one-line resignation letters to him and the rest would do so on Monday morning. He vowed to hand over these letters to JAC convener M Kodandaram and request him to put pressure on Congress legislators to quit. Unless they resign, a constitutional crisis cannot be created and now it would be the responsibility of the JAC convener to work in that direction, he told the media persons. Asked why TDP MLA Ch Ramesh had jumped the gun and submitted his resignation , Janardan Reddy said that it was his individual decision.

Meanwhile, JAC convener Kodandaram who held talks with some of the members on Sunday evening said that he would again try to convince Congress legislators to submit resignations by Monday evening.
If they fail to do so, then the JAC will organise protests in a democratic manner and will not allow them to move around in their respective constituencies he said.
Uncertainty looms over state budget session -Amid T-MLAs Resignations, Assembly Unlikely To Last 45 Days

Hyderabad: The fourth session of the 13th Andhra Pradesh legislative assembly will go down in the history as a unique session. The session that would begin with the Governors address to both the Houses on Monday is all set to kick-start amidst political uncertainty which raises a million dollar question - whether it would last the scheduled 45 days. Unhappy with the terms of reference of Srikrishna committee , the political parties are working out their own strategies of one upmanship and have been holding marathon meetings since Friday to work out a road map to see that they get maximum mileage in the process.

As a result, the major political parties which had vied with each other to submit their resignations to the Speaker in the past are now hesitating to do so and are preferring to keep the heat on by boycotting the proceedings and hold dharnas in front of the statue of Mahatma Gandhi on the assembly premises. On the other hand, the political JAC along with TRS is trying to bring all T-MLAs together and make them resign from the assembly to intensify the agitation. TDP Telangana MLAs while expressing their willingness to resign asked the JAC convener to see that Congress MLAs from the region resign first if the agitation is to be taken forward. Amidst this scenario, Speaker N Kiran Kumar Reddy, who reviewed the law and order situation with the police, said he would not permit any dharna or protests on the assembly premises. Similarly , he told the media persons to not to telecast live speeches or reactions of leaders of political parties during assembly session .

With Congress MLAs deciding not to resign, the joint address to both the Houses by Governor ESL Narsimhan would by and large pass off peacefully unless TDP Telangana MLAs decide to obstruct the proceedings by raising T slogans. Even presuming that the Telangana Congress and TDP MLAs will boycott the session, the question is whether the government would like to hold the session for 45 days with legislators from the region absent or will it adjourn mid-way after getting the budget passed.

Meanwhile, unprecedented arrangements have been made for the smooth conduct of the assembly session. All processions and protests up to 2 kms from the assembly have been banned and Section 144 has been brought into force. No vehicle or person without valid pass would be allowed to enter the premises. This time the arrangements are totally different, said PSR Anjaneyulu, joint commissioner for coordination and security.

Cong MLAs may boycott Guvs address

Even as ministers from Telangana region reiterated on Sunday that their resignations would not offer a solution to the issue of separate Telangana, the Congress MLAs, however, decided to disrupt the Governors address. Meanwhile, some of the ministers tried to convince Ramreddy Damodar Reddy and C Mutyam Reddy, the two MLAs who submitted their resignations, to reconsider their decision. While Ramreddy Venkat Reddy, P Sudarshan Reddy, Sabita Indra Reddy and Ponnala Lakshamiah tried to convince Damodar Reddy, ministers Sunita Lakshma Reddy, J Geeta Reddy, D Rajanarsimha and D K Aruna tried to prevail upon Mutyam Reddy. Several Congress MLAs said they would be compelled to resign if the party issued any directive without taking into consideration the popular mood among general public in the region. Congress sources said the party president in an informal chat had assured them that things would come to normalcy since Centre has initiated the process of eliciting views on T through the Srikrishna Committee. We have been asked to act appropriately depending on the intensity of the pressure arising out of individual constituencies and not herd ourselves into any unanimous decision that could embarrass the high command, said a legislator on condition of anonymity.

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