Violence near Osmania varsity, police fire rubber bullets

Thursday, November 18, 2010

HYDERABAD - Police fired rubber bullets near Osmania University Thursday night as students demanding postponement of examination for recruiting sub-inspectors of police in Telangana turned violent.

Police fired teargas shells and rubber bullets at Tarnaka as students tried to take out a procession and resorted to violence, hours after Chief Minister K.Rosaiah ruled out postponing the exam scheduled to be held later this month.

The protesters clashed with police, damaged 15 buses, a bus shelter and pelted stones at shops and vehicles in Tarnaka, Habsiguda and other areas near the university campus, a police official said.

Five students were injured when police baton charged them. However, there were no immediate reports of any injury in the police firing.

A war-like situation prevailed in the campus as a large number of students refused to disperse and pelted stones at police. Additional security men, including paramilitary Rapid Action Force, were being mobilised to deal with the situation.

The traffic in the busy Tarnaka and surrounding areas came to a standstill. Police closed Adikmet flyover to vehicles and also sealed the roads leading towards the campus.

The campus and surrounding areas witnessed series of protests on the issue since morning.

However, violence broke out after the 5 p.m. deadline set by the Joint Action Committee of Osmania University students for the government to make an announcement on their demand.

Addressing a news conference after 5 p.m., Rosaiah turned down the demand by the students and other pro-Telangana parties for postponing the exam till the issue of Hyderabad as free zone is settled.

The chief minister said since the policemen were not being recruited in Hyderabad, the exam would be conducted as per schedule for recruitment in four other districts of Telangana.

The parties fighting for separate statehood to Telangana argued that recruitment would deprive locals of jobs in the police department as Hyderabad was declared a free zone by the Supreme Court last year.

The free zone status makes people from outside Telangana eligible for recruitment in Hyderabad, violating the assurances given to people of Telangana at the time of its merger with then Andhra state to form Andhra Pradesh in 1956.

The pro-Telangana parties alleged that the government has done nothing to ensure that Hyderabad remained as part of zone VI along with four other districts of Telangana.

The Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) Thursday staged road blockades and sit-ins at many places in Telangana, demanding the government postpone the police recruitment examination.

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