Cases registered against seven students of Osmania University (OU) in 2013, during the statehood agitation, are now being pursued by the Telangana government.
A government order released by the state law department on May 10 said, “Upon perusal of the relevant records pertaining to Crime No.124/2013 of Osmania University Police Station, Hyderabad, the Government have satisfied and considered that the accused mentioned at para (1) above, should be tried for the offences punishable under sections 153A and 153B of Indian Penal Code, 1860.”
According to Nazeer, Telangana Vidyarthi Vedika (TVV) OU unit president, these cases were originally registered in 2103, against the student leaders of various far-left organisations for allegedly putting up around 200 inflammatory posters at various places in the university, including the hostel. The posters had an image of a person holding a rifle and asked the students to take up the path of armed struggle for realising the separate state of Telangana and that only militant struggle will scare away the people belonging from Andhra Pradesh.
The OU Police Station had then booked these students. The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), which is heading the Telangana government, had earlier assured the students that these cases would be revoked. But now the government has decided to pursue them.
Kota Sreenivas, state president of Telangana Vidyarthi Sangam (TVS) and one of the seven accused, said - “Telangana government had promised to revoke all cases booked against people during the statehood agitation but it has been partial. Just because we have been criticizing the government for its poor functioning and its policies like passing the Private Universities bill, we are being targeted and the cases against us have been re-opened.”
Students allege that this move is part of the Telangana government’s autocratic agenda to curb criticism and linked the recent arrest of revolutionary writer Varavara Rao to this larger agenda.
Various student organisation within OU, including Students Federation of India (SFI), All India Students Federation (AISF), TVV and TVS, have lodged a protest against this move.