Hyderabad: Protests staged by student groups in Osmania University continued on Monday against authorities denying permission for Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s visit to the campus on May 7.
Police arrested leaders of the Osmania University Joint Action Committee (OU JAC) when they staged a protest in front of Arts College on the campus.
Alleging that the university authorities denied permission for Rahul’s visit at the behest of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government, they demanded that the Congress leader be allowed to visit the campus to interact with the students.
Police arrested the JAC leaders and shifted them to police station. Police have beefed up security on the campus in view of the continuing protests by student groups.
Large number of policemen was deployed in the campus after Sunday’s incident in which proestors led by NSUI state president Venkat Balmoor stormed into the OU administrative building and tried to barge into the locked Vice Chancellor’s office.
They broke glass panes of the door, raising slogans against the Vice-Chancellor and the government, alleging the Vice Chancellor was acting at the behest of the Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao.
They were booked for unlawful assembly, assault, rioting, trespass and preventing public servants from discharging their duties.
On a complaint by a woman police constable, the arrested NSUI leaders were also charged with attempting to outrage her modesty.
Venkat Balmoor and 17 others were produced before a magistrate, who sent them to judicial custody for 14 days.
Congress MP and incharge of party affairs in Telangana, Manickam Tagore has condemned the arrest of NSUI leaders and demanded their immediate release.
Leaders of student groups were also arrested on Sunday when they staged a protest at Minister’s Quarters in Banjara Hills.
When Congress MLA Jagga Reddy went to the police station to call on the arrested students and threatened to visit the OU campus, he was detained at the police station.
Jagga Reddy had last week approached the university authorities seeking permission for Rahul Gandhi’s visit to the campus. The university, however, refused permission for the same citing their earlier decision not to allow any public meeting on the campus.
The Congress leaders, however, claimed that Rahul Gandhi’s visit was not political. They said he would visit the hostel and mess and interact with students to know about their problems. They maintained that he has been visiting universities in different parts of the country.
MP Uttam Kumar Reddy announced that Rahul Gandhi will go ahead with a visit to the university.
He slammed the TRS government for denying permission for the visit.
“When BJP leaders can visit Osmania University and address meetings and when birthdays of KCR and KTR can be celebrated, why can’t our leader visit the campus. Is it the property of CM KCR?” he asked.
He argued that the visit by Rahul Gandhi is not political in nature as he plans to go around the hostels and mess and also interact with students to know about the problem of unemployment.
State Congress chief Revanth Reddy said since Osmania University played a key role in first and second phase of Telangana movement, Rahul Gandhi is keen to visit the campus to interact with students and gather details.
“Why is KCR scared?” he queried.