The Hyderabad police on Saturday detained students of the National Institute of Tourism and Hospitality Management (NITHM) as they sat on a hunger strike at their Gachibowli campus.
The students were demanding that the institute's Director, Chinnam Reddy, must be sacked.
A video of the incident published by the students shows police personnel entering the campus and approaching the students as they are seen sitting under a tent.
The students claimed that 68 of them were detained and a majority of them were taken to the Moinabad police station under the Cyberabad Police Commissionerate.
"Three female students and one male student were taken to Raidurgam Police Station, and we were all released late in the evening," a student of the institute told TNM.
The police personnel are then seen taking away the students one by one. The students were seen being largely peaceful and cooperative even as the security detained both male and female students.
The police can then be seen pulling down the tent put up by the students and taking away the cloth, mattresses and carpets that the students were sleeping on.
"I don't think there was any case registered. In fact, the police who came to pick us up had no idea what the issue was about when we questioned them. They simply said that we were asked to do it, and so we did it. No warrant was also shown to us," the student said.
Watch the video below.
The students had earlier alleged that the Director was 'bending rules according to his own will' and was constantly changing the examination pattern, which was causing the students great stress. They also alleged that the head of the institute was functioning with impunity, citing political influence and saying that he was close to Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao.
The students have since written to KCR, while the Telangana unit of the Congress has also extended support to the cause.
"The institution is being used for cinema shootings, has given its space to a corporate company for rent, and while students are to attend their exams, the Principal is on a 40-day holiday in Las Vegas," Congress spokesperson Krishank Mane said after meeting the students, even as some members of the faculty also backed the protest.
"Chinnam Reddy is not qualified and was appointed as the Director of this prestigious institution without an interview as he is the brother of Seri Subash Reddy, personal secretary of KCR and Chairman of Mining Corporation," Krishank had alleged.
NITHM is affiliated to the Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University (JNTU), Hyderabad.
The students also alleged that the wardens of the respective hostels called the parents of residential students and told them that the college had declared a one-month holiday and that the institute was not responsible their wards, in a bid to break-up the protest.
The students and management of the institute are now attending a meeting on Monday where parents will also be present.
The students are demanding a written assurance from the Director that he will not interfere in academic affairs if wants to continue in his post, failing which he should put down his papers.