Paramilitary forces pulled out of Osmania University

Hyderabad, Feb 17 (Calcutta Tube) Following the orders of Andhra Pradesh High Court, the state government Wednesday pulled out Rapid Action Force and other paramilitary forces from the Osmania University campus here.

Hyderabad Police Commissioner A.K. Khan told reporters that the paramilitary forces were moved out of the campus.

The court Tuesday reprimanded the state government while dismissing its petition challenging the earlier direction by a single-judge bench to withdraw the forces following the police baton charge on students and journalists on Sunday and Monday.

The court has taken a serious note of the incidents, especially the beating up of girl students by the police, switching off electricity supply, and firing of teargas shells in darkness.

While dealing with a petition of a television channel reporter who was assaulted by police, a single-judge bench termed the state police ‘lawless’ and remarked that even the chief minister and his cabinet colleagues were helpless in controlling police.

‘Perhaps it is time for Amnesty International to report on rights violations in the state,’ observed Justice Narasimha Reddy while directing Joint Commissioner of Police P.S.R. Anjaneyulu to appear in person before him to answer his questions on handling the situation on the campus.

Scores of students and media persons were injured when police constables baton charged them on the campus during students’ protests over the demand for statehood to Telangana.

Meanwhile, Home Minister P. Sabita Indra Reddy told the state assembly that investigations into the incidents were on and a report would be available in a week.

Making a statement in the house, she claimed that police resorted to baton charge when students, who were trying to take out a procession violating prohibitory orders, pelted stones injuring three policemen.

On the demand of opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) to withdraw all cases against students and other protestors, she said the government would consider it after peace is restored.

She said the government and police had apprehensions that anti-social elements in the guise of students had entered the university.

She said the state witnessed disturbances over Telangana issue for 68 days during which 1,288 cases were registered and 5,000 people were arrested. ‘While 1,070 cases were booked in Telangana, 218 cases were registered in Andhra and Rayalaseema regions,’ she said.

TDP deputy leader N. Janardhan Reddy wanted to know why the government has turned Osmania University into a police camp. He said though union Home Minister P. Chidambaram announced on Dec 9 that all cases would be withdrawn, the state government had not taken any action.

Deputy Speaker N. Manohar abruptly adjourned the house till Thursday even as TDP legislators were protesting over the ‘unsatisfactory’ statement by the home minister.

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