Following the statement, there was an immediate backlash on social media.

Osmania University bans political events on campus critics cry foulImage: Wikimedia Commons/Subbaiah
news Politics Thursday, June 08, 2017 - 07:53

In a major move, the administration of the Osmania University (OU) has decided to ban public meetings and political events in its campus, and issued a notice on the matter on Wednesday evening. 

In a press statement, all students, researchers, teaching and non-teaching staff were informed that activities unrelated to academics would not be permitted on campus.

“The university has been established for the purpose of imparting higher education and conducting research in various disciplines. The primary objective of the university is purely academic and research- oriented. It is, therefore, informed to all the concerned including the teachers, students and staff that activities which are unrelated to academics will not be permitted on the campus.” TNIE quotes the release by OU as saying.

Following the statement, there was an immediate backlash on social media, as many pointed out that the campus was the centre of the Telangana movement, that was led by the students, and ultimately gave Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao his present post.

“There were no such restrictions during Telangana movement. Then what is the need to bring new rules now. We will go to Court and try to make our voice heard in the campus on student and employee related issues even in the future,” OU student leader Manavatha Rai told Deccan Chronicle.

Speaking to DC, OU Teachers Association president Battu Satyanaryana argued that students were welcome to host meetings inside auditoriums and halls, but not in public spaces of the campus. 

Taking to Facebook, Krishank Mane, official spokesperson for the OU Joint Action Committee said, "Student movement is the backbone of Telangana state being a reality. We will continue to do student politics as well as academics. We don't see this as an administrative decision but a decision arising out of the Chief Minister's fear." 

Many also compared this move, to the state's move to shift 'dharna chowk' from Indira Park in the heart of Hyderabad, to the city's outskirts. 

Dharna Chowk had been the epicentre for thousands of protests, for over two decades, and also saw a lot of activity during the Telangana movement.

However, in March this year, the Telangana government decided to shift the venue to the outskirts of the city, citing 'law and order' problems, as the site is close to the secretariat.

Critics of the move were not satisfied, and escalating protests led to a massive clash in May, pro and anti-government protestors clashed at the venue in response to the TJAC’s call to “Occupy Dharna Chowk”. 

 

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