Tension prevailed in the Osmania University campus in Hyderabad on Tuesday as students of all varsities in the Telangana region boycotted examinations after one of them committed suicide over the delay in carving out a separate state from Andhra Pradesh.
Venugopal Reddy, an MCA student, set himself ablaze at Osmania University. His body was found in the campus early Tuesday, police said.
A suicide note left by Reddy said he was disappointed over the delay in formation of Telangana state and feared that it would not become a reality. He also appealed to Congress president Sonia Gandhi to help in formation of a separate state.
Reddy, a native of Nalgonda district, was a student of Lalita College of Engineering at Uppal in the city.
His suicide triggered protests at the campus with Joint Action Committee (JAC) of students and teachers staging a protest with the body on the campus. The JAC leaders were demanding that the government pay Rs.5 lakh compensation to his family.
JAC also gave a call for a two-day shutdown in Telangana and urged students across the region to boycott examinations.
Additional police forces rushed to the university, the nerve centre of the ongoing Telangana agitation.
The student's suicide came a day after JAC began a march to urge the central government to immediately initiate the process for formation of Telangana state. The 20-day march through the region will conclude with a public meeting in Warangal.
Meanwhile, protests also broke out at Kakatiya University in Warangal, Satavahana University in Karimnagar and Palamuru University in Mahabubnagar. Students boycotted examinations.
JAC had already given a call for two-day protest against the decision of the universities to conduct the examinations as per schedule. The examinations began Tuesday despite the appeal by JAC and political parties to conduct them only after completion of the courses.
The Telangana agitation, which began in November, affected teaching in all universities. Some student bodies have decided not to appear for examinations till the state is carved out.