Hyderabad, Feb 21 (IANS) Violence rocked parts of Hyderabad Monday as pro-Telangana students went berserk, setting afire a local train, ransacking a railway station and clashing with police in several areas.
The Osmania University students’ march to the assembly building turned violent as a group of protestors set afire a Multi-Modal Transport System (MMTS) train coach at the Jamia Osmania railway station near the varsity campus.
The incident took place even as hundreds of students clashed with police and paramilitary forces at three places around the sprawling campus. Prevented by police from coming out of the campus, the students pelted stones and the police retaliated with a baton charge and tear gas shells.
Another group of protestors ransacked the Necklace Road MMTS railway station near Raj Bhavan, the official residence of the state governor. They set ablaze the reservation counter, destroyed computers and broke window panes.
The incident triggered tension in the high security areas around Raj Bhavan, and the police forced the closure of the shops to prevent a march by pro-Telangana lawyers, who wanted to submit a memorandum to Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan.
There was more trouble as a group of protestors on board a local train tried to stop it forcibly near Raj Bhavan. Police sealed the road leading towards the governor’s residence, causing huge traffic jam in the busy Khairatabad and surrounding areas.
Violence also rocked the Nizam College area near the assembly building as students pelted stones, clashed with police and damaged several vehicles. Tension prevailed at Nizam College as police pushed back the students inside the college and the hostel buildings.
A few policemen were reportedly injured in the stone pelting near the college.
Pro-Telangana leader and Maoist sympathizer Gaddar was arrested at Tank Bund when he tried to march towards the assembly.
The usually busy roads around the assembly building in the heart of the city wore a deserted look as police and paramilitary forces sealed them against the students’ march.
A curfew-like situation prevailed in Basheerbagh, Lakdi Ka Pul, Saifabad, Nampally and surrounding areas as police diverted traffic and were not allowing even pedestrians to move around. The alternate routes were choked with huge traffic jams.
However, a group of girl students managed to sneak through the security cordon and reached the police control room near the assembly building. Raising slogans of “Jai Telangana”, the girls tried to move towards the assembly premises but were prevented by the police.
About 40 students were arrested and shifted to waiting police vehicles.
Osmania University, about 10 km away from assembly, turned into a
battlefield as students fought pitched battles with police and paramilitary personnel.
Defying a ban on the gathering of people, hundreds of students began their march to the assembly complex to demand a bill in parliament for carving out a separate Telangana state.
The police had denied permission to the Osmania University Joint Action Committee (JAC) to take out its proposed march. The university witnessed violence during many such attempts in the past.