State Bandh today ( from Deccan Chronicle)

Ramana Juvvadi (ramana@localhost.localdomain)
Thu, 6 Mar 1997 02:58:19 -0500


                     State Bandh today
                     Heavy bandobast for the ABVP protest against killing of a leader by
                     Naxalites

                     Security arrangements have been strengthened by the police in the
                     twin cities and other parts of the State in view of the bandh call given
                     by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad on Thursday, in protest
                     against the killing of an ABVP leader, Mr Chandra Reddy, on the
                     Osmania University campus by radicals on Tuesday.

                     Additional police forces have been deployed at sensitive places in the
                     twin cities and elsewhere in the State. Special pickets have also been
                     set up at various places, particularly on the Osmania University
                     campus where the murder took place.

                     Meanwhile, more than 100 people have been taken into custody in
                     the city as a precautionary measure. According to a senior police
                     official, the impact of the bandh was expected more on the university
                     campus.Though no official holiday has been declared for schools,
                     several private school managements have decided to close down the 
                     schools in view of the bandh call and non-availability of transport. An
                     APSRTC official, said the corporation would regulate its services
                     depending upon the situation. If conditions permit, services on all
                     routes, including long distance services, would be run as per
                     schedule.

                     RSU owns up killing
                     The city unit of the outlawed Radical Students? Union, claimed
                     responsibility for the killing of ABVP leader, Chandra Reddy. The city
                     unit president of the RSU, K Narasimha, in a statement, said that the
                     ABVP leaders were ?applying pressure tactics? in connivance with
                     the government to suppress the revolutionary movement.

                     He also said that the ABVP leaders were harassing Dalit students and
                     sympathisers of left organisations. He warned other leaders of the
                     ABVP like Pradeep, Manohar Reddy, Haragopal, Paparao,
                     Venkateswarlu, Jagan, Ugender and Amarender would meet the
                     same fate, if they did not change their attitude. 

                     Opposition condemns killing
                     The Opposition members condemned the killing of the Akhil
                     Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad leader, Mr M Chandra Reddy, by the
                     Naxalites of the People?s War Group in Osmania University campus
                     on Tuesday. 

                     The Opposition members alleged that the failure of law and order
                     situation in the State was mainly responsible for the murder in the
                     campus, in which a journalist was also hurt. They said the police, the
                     CB-CID and the Intelligence wings had miserably failed to prevent
                     such murders in the State. 

                     Making a statement in the Assembly after Question Hour, the Home
                     Minister, Mr A Madhava Reddy, said the police had started
                     investigation into the incident and launched a manhunt to nab the
                     culprits. Those, who have no faith in democracy, have been killing the
                     political leaders and others, the minister said and asserted that the
                     government would deal with such anti-social elements sternly.

                     Mr Madhava Reddy said the government would provide employment
                     to one of the family members of Mr Chandra Reddy in addition to the
                     payment of Rs 1 lakh as ex-gratia. The BJP floor leader, Mr Ch
                     Vidyasagar Rao, demanded an all-party meeting to discuss the issue.
                     Supporting the view of Mr Vidyasagar Rao for an all-party meeting,
                     the Congress member, Mr Gade Venkat Reddy, opined that the
                     gruesome murder clearly showed the poor law and order situation in
                     the State. When the Congress Government had imposed ban on the
                     PWG, the TDP Government had lifted and again banned PWG, he
                     regretted. Mr K Subba Raju (CPI) condemned the incident and asked
                     the government to take action. The CPM floor leader, Mr Bodepudi
                     Venkateswara Rao, also reiterated that it was the result of failure of
                     law and order in the State. Ms Lakshmi Parvathi (NTR-TDP) also
                     said the law and order situation had worsened in the State. The
                     government should own the moral responsibility for the murder, she
                     added. Mr Madhava Reddy also agreed that the policy on extremists
                     has been changing with the change in the government.

                     Fear rules Osmania campus 
                     The killing of M Chandra Reddy, a research scholar and ABVP
                     activist, on Tuesday by members of the outlawed Radical Students?
                     Union, has sent shock waves among the student community and the
                     academics.The murder baffled everyone because firstly there was no
                     provocation for the radicals to do what they did and secondly because
                     ideology-based violence on the campus had been on the wane during
                     the last seven years.

                     Even after 24 hours of the murder the police seem to be groping for
                     clues. The genesis of violent student politics could be traced to the
                     murder of the PDSU leader, George Reddy by Jan Sangh activists in
                     1972. Clashes between the students of different ideologies have been
                     continuing since then, and in 1987 Krishnavardhan Reddy, an ABVP
                     leader, was murdered by radicals. Arun Kumar, a technology student,
                     was killed by ABVP activists in 1994, Chandra Reddy was also an
                     accused, but the murder is not considered a part of the ideological
                     war as the victim, a Dalit was not linked to any student organisation. 

                     The influence of the RSU has been subdued following the ban on
                     PWG and its affiliated organisations. This has led to the burgeoning
                     influence of the ABVP. Its only "rival" has been the Progressive
                     Democratic Students Union whose influence is limited. The Chandra
                     Reddy killing created such a scare among the students that almost all
                     of them vacated their hostels. The entire campus wore a deserted
                     look.

                     But what is intriguing is the silence of the administration over the
                     issue. The girls too vacated their rooms in the absence of any
                     assurance from the administration on their safety. A few students
                     who did not join the exodus are also planning to move out of the
                     campus at the earliest. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof V Ramakistayya,
                     has not been available to either the press or the students and thus
                     incurring the students? ire, the other officials too are chary. The
                     campus was closed on Wednesday though there was no official
                     declaration. The heavy police force near the hostels has further
                     heightened the tension what with the policemen bringing in all the
                     paraphernalia with them giving an indication of a long stay. Not a
                     single official was available for comment. The Registrar, Prof M
                     Bhagwantha Rao, too has cut himself off from the students. The
                     student community is fearing that this incident would be used as an
                     excuse by the administration to close down the hostels. The
                     maintenance of the hostels had become a major financial burden on
                     the university. An indication to close down hostels had been given by
                     the administration several times in the recent past.