A man in a drunken state intruded into the off-campus Osmania University PG women’s hostel near Hyderabad’s Begumpet, less than a month after a similar incident at the OU campus in Tarnaka. Around midnight on Friday, January 26, the trespasser climbed up to the ventilator of a women’s washroom on the first floor, and tried to call out to the students. Students also said that stones were pelted at the washroom on the floor below. Students staged an overnight protest demanding safe living conditions and other basic facilities at the hostel.
Begumpet Police Detective Inspector M Mallesham said that the students and hostel security guards nabbed the trespasser and handed him over to the police. He said the accused was in a drunken state and couldn’t speak clearly, and a case is yet to be registered as the investigation is ongoing.
The PG women’s hostel in Begumpet houses around 250 women students. The incident happened around midnight, and since then, scores of students have continued to protest till morning, demanding that the university’s Vice-Chancellor D Ravinder heed their demands to provide better security, CCTV cameras, as well as improved food, water and other facilities that the students have been complaining about for weeks.
While students allege that there were three trespassers and that two of them managed to escape, police said that there was only one accused. Many angry protesters narrated the incident to local media outlets and demanded action from the university administration. One student who spoke to Sakshi TV said, “We heard some noises from the washroom around midnight. At first, we thought it was nothing. But then some of us saw a man gesturing with his hands on the top floor washroom, and saw stones being pelted at the washroom below,” she said. Other students said that the intruder called out to the women, saying “Hi.”
The students said that since the hostel has only one woman security guard, and the campus only two male security guards, that strength was inadequate to handle such situations. As soon as they spotted the trespassers, the students said they called the male security guards and caught one man with their help, insisting that two others escaped. Students reportedly tied the hands of the accused with a cloth, and visuals showed the man lying on the floor while a few people surrounded him and assaulted him by kicking him.
Some students said that ever since they were shifted to the Begumpet hostel, they have been suffering due to inadequate facilities as the hostel is yet to be fully equipped. “The Vice-Chancellor and others keep saying they will address our concerns soon but so far, they haven’t,” a student said, demanding that the VC show up to answer the protesting students.
While students insisted that the trespasser was possibly a worker hired for construction work happening on hostel premises, police said that was unlikely. However, police said they were unsure how the trespasser entered the premises.
Earlier on January 3, a man scaled the walls of the PhD female scholars hostel at the OU campus and ran across the ground floor yelling and knocking on doors. The incident triggered protests on campus and sparked safety concerns.
Later on January 9, the Osmania University police reportedly identified the man as Jenga Raju, a resident of a nearby area who previously worked as a temporary employee at an OU hostel.