Dozens of students were arrested and the Osmania University was under siege Monday as police attempted to foil the indefinite fast by students demanding separate statehood for Telengana.
Students coming to Hyderabad from various parts of Telangana were nabbed. Police have since Sunday night also arrested students, including some leaders of the Osmania University Joint Action Committee (OU JAC), on the campus and from hostels, officials said.
Preventive arrests of students were also made in Warangal, Karimnagar and other towns to stop them from proceeding to Hyderabad.
OU JAC leaders alleged that police were resorting to indiscriminate arrests and said they were determined to go ahead with the protest.
The sprawling university campus was under siege by the police and central paramilitary forces, who have sealed all the routes leading towards the campus, to scuttle OU JAC plans to launch the indefinite fast.
Tension prevailed in the campus and surrounding areas as police erected barricades and carried out out checks of vehicles.
OU JAC plans to launch the mass fast with 10,000 students. The political JAC and various groups fighting for a separate state have declared their support to the fast.
However, police commissioner A.K. Khan said there was no permission for the programme. He also banned entry of outsiders into the campus on the ground that there are orders from the Supreme Court. The police chief also pointed out that prohibitory orders banning assembly of five or more people are also in force in the city.
The OU JAC also plans to take out rallies to Raj Bhavan and state assembly to demand the governor and the speaker to accept resignations of ministers and legislators from the region.
Osmania University is the nerve centre of the Telangana agitation and has witnessed clashes between students and police since the latest phase of the agitation began earlier this month.