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Kakatiya University Students Protest TRS Visit

Kakatiya University students today protested the involvement of TRS leaders E Dayakar Rao and Palla Rajeshwar Reddy in a university function.
Hyderabad | 3rd January 2021
The students of Kakatiya University today protested the arrival of Telangana Panchayat Raj Minister Errabelli Dayakar Rao and MLC Palla Rajeshwar Reddy at the Warangal-based university campus.

The two TRS leaders had gone to the university to celebrate Savitribai Phule Jayanti, a commemoration of the birth anniversary of India's first female school teacher and a prominent social reformer. They had been invited to garland a statue of Phule on the occasion.

However, the student activists, who had organised a dharna to protest the involvement of the two leaders in the celebrations even before latter's arrival, did not allow the function to take place.

They obstructed the path of the leaders' convoys by laying down on the road in front of them (the convoys), and raised slogans against the leaders.

While this led to some friction between the leaders and their supporters, and the protesting students, the police reached the spot before the situation escalated any further, and promptly dispersed the protestors.

Some students were then taken to a police station near the university.

It was only after the police's intervention that the two TRS leaders were finally able to garland Phule's statue.

Many alleged that the police had unfairly lathi-charged some of the students involved in the protest. Telangana BJP chief Bandi Sanjay Kumar even accused the police of intentionally targeting the university's ABVP workers.

Explaining their decision to agitate against the participation of the two leaders in the event, the activists said that neither Dayakar Rao nor Palla Rajeshwar Reddy had ever worked towards addressing the problems of the students of Telangana, and therefore had no right to visit any educational institutions.

Singling out MLC Rajeshwar Reddy, the students lambasted him for "neglecting" the troubles faced by the students of Warangal despite the fact that he had become an MLC after winning the Warangal-Khammam-Nalgonda graduates' constituency seat through the votes of the students of the region.

They also alleged that the MLC, instead of solving their problems, had focused solely on wrangling the permissions required to establish, run and promote his own private college, a college named Anurag College of Engineering in Suryapet district.

(Reddy is the one of the founders of the college, and is part of its board of governors.)

"We are dumfounded by the fact that a person who never speaks on university issues has been invited to participate in the celebrations organised on the occasion of Savitribai Phule Jayanti at an educational institution of such repute," the students said.

While the students seem to have several legitimate grievances against Rao and Reddy, many feel that the demonstration against the leaders' involvement in the university's function, reportedly spearheaded by ABVP activists, was motivated also by the fact that Rao had recently voiced criticism against the BJP, and had accused it of failing to contribute to the development of Warangal.
filed in:  Telangana, Warangal, Students, Student Unions, Protests, Dharnas, Errabelli Dayakar Rao, Palla Rajeshwar Reddy, Kakatiya University, Universities
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