Hyderabad, Feb 23: Osmania University students fought pitched battles with police for the second consecutive day demanding release of students arrested yesterday during the OUJAC’s Chalo Assembly rally.
In what was seen as a pre-planned attack, students burnt a petrol bomb fitted with the effigy of director general of police K Aravinda Rao in front of OU police station. As it went off with a loud explosion, they started pelting stones on police, taking them by surprise. The clashes which started around 11.30 a.m went on till late in the evening with students raining stones and petrol bombs and police retaliating with tear gas and stun grenades. Unconfirmed reports said rubber bullets were also fired on students.
Trouble began in the morning when students joined the rally taken out by Telangana Journalists Forum protesting the alleged attack on media personnel by police on OU campus yesterday. As students started collecting stones mid-way to the police station, journalists withdrew their protest but students went ahead and staged a demonstration. They demanded release of arrested students and Telangana JAC convener Prof Kodandaram who was arrested by police today.
Even as several students were raising slogans near the burning effigy, it exploded with a loud noise creating panic among students and even media men nearby. A couple of students clothes’ caught fire but they were immediately doused. Even as students and media personnel ran for safety, another group of students waiting on B-hostel rooftops started pelting stones at police, taking them by surprise. Police retaliated with tear gas shells and stun grenades. Students then surrounded the police station from three sides and fought pitched battles.
After nearly four hours of clashes, police moved inside the campus with help of a Rapid Intervention Vehicle, which can fire more than a dozen tear gas shells and stun grenades. As police went to the Y-junction near B-hostel to disperse students, they were targeted by petrol bombs and empty liquor bottles forcing them to retreat. A petrol bomb narrowly missed the Rapid Intervention Vehicle. Dozens of students and policemen were injured in clashes. Agitating students also demolished the OU police station compound wall even as police made a vain bid to stop them. According to reports, students took advantage of the visit of a peace committee to the OU campus and razed the newly constructed wall with iron mesh, to the ground.