Tension prevailed in Hyderabad as police arrested several students and teachers of Osmania University to quell protests for a separate state as another group tried to lay siege to the state assembly.
About 3,000 armed policemen moved to the campus and swooped on the students on hunger strike to demand a Telangana state to be carved out of Andhra Pradesh.
Policemen, including paramilitary personnel, forcibly evacuated all hostels on the campus and took students into custody. The police also used force when students and teachers tried to resist the arrests.
"Prohibitory orders are in force and the assembly here is unlawful and hence we have arrested the students," said Deputy Commissioner of Police Sheikh Mohammed Iqbal.
The arrests were to foil the students' plans to march to the assembly on Thursday. "There is no permission for the rally. We have our apprehension. Anti-social elements might create trouble," the police officer said.
For the second time in three days, journalists also came under attack by the police on the campus. A few journalists covering the arrests were beaten up. Raising slogans against police, the media persons staged a sit-in.
Police also arrested legislative council member Chukka Ramaiah when he tried to go to Osmania University. The eminent academician sat on the road in protest when police stopped him.
Tension also prevailed at the high-security assembly building when activists of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) tried to lay siege to the assembly and nearby council building.
Taking the police by surprise, over 200 students reached the assembly and tried to barge in. Raising slogans of "Jai Telangana" they clashed with police at the main gate. They also squatted on the road demanding that the assembly pass a resolution for the formation of a Telangana state.
Police arrested the students. Senior officials ordered an inquiry to find out how the group could reach the assembly when policemen have been deployed on all the routes leading to the building.
Over 15,000 policemen from Andhra Pradesh and neighboring states have been deployed in Hyderabad to foil student plans to march to the assembly.
Prohibitory orders under section 144 banning the assembly of five or more people have been imposed in Hyderabad and nine other districts of the Telangana region as the movement for separate statehood has intensified.