The incidents at Hyderabad Central University and Osmania University rocked the Telangana assembly on Saturday with the opposition stalling the proceedings to demand full-fledged debate.
The house was adjourned thrice since morning as the opposition Congress and the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) insisted on a debate on the police brutalities on students at Hyderabad Central University (HCU).
As soon as the house met for the day, the two parties demanded their adjournment motions on the issue be taken up but Deputy Speaker Padmadevender Reddy rejected this.
Members of Congress and MIM rushed to the well of the house, seeking an immediate debate. They wanted the government to respond to their demands for withdrawal of cases against students.
The Congress party also raised the issue relating to the attack on its legislator Sampath Kumar’s car in Osmania University and demanded action against those involved. The MLA’s vehicle was damaged when he visited OU campus on March 23 when students were staging a protest after recovery of a body of a man from a sump.
The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government, however, suggested that the debate on the university incidents be taken as part of the demand for grants for home department.
Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao termed as ‘unfortunate’ the incidents that occurred at the two universities. “The death of a student at HCU is unfortunate,” he said referring to the suicide of Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula.
He said that the attack on MLA’s car in Osmania University is condemnable. The chief minister, however, wondered as to why the Congress MLA did not lodge a complaint with police.
KCR, as the chief minister is popularly known, told the house that the government is ready to discuss all the issues. He took objection to the manner in which the opposition was raising the issue and alleged that they are only interested in taking political mileage.
MIM leader in the house, Akbaruddin Owaisi said the chief minister’s suggestion that the issue be discussed as part of the demand for grants is an insult to Dalits. He condemned the arrests of students on HCU campus and the police atrocities on them.
Owaisi demanded that the house pass a resolution to urge the central government to recall HCU Vice Chancellor P. Appa Rao. He also sought an inquiry into the beating up of students by police and university security.
Police arrested 24 students and two faculty members of HCU on March 22 when they were staging a protest over P. Appa Rao resuming charge as the vice chancellor. The protestors alleged that Appa Rao is responsible for Rohith’s suicide in January.
Student groups alleged that police beat up students after arresting them and also assaulted them in police stations.
Meanwhile, Congress party’s Telangana unit president Uttam Kumar Reddy alleged that police attacked the vehicle of MLA.
He said student and youth leaders of the Congress party were being harassed by police by summoning them to police stations.