Published: 10th August 2018
Osmania University denies permission to Rahul Gandhi's visit, cites security reasons
Some student leaders from OU who have been actively pursuing to bring Rahul Gandhi to the campus, staged a dharna outside OU Vice Chancellor's office demanding that OU should grant permission
Plans of bringing All India Congress Committee (AICC) president Rahul Gandhi to Osmania University, the epicentre of Telangana statehood agitation, by some student leaders from the campus who have been vocal against the TRS-led state government, failed to fructify for the second time since state formation.
Citing security reasons, the OU administration denied request by some student leaders to host a seminar on 'Education and employment in Telangana and India' that was to be addressed by Rahul Gandhi on August 14. A letter by Joint Director of OU Estate Cell on Friday said,
"The Osmania University has declined the request made by student organizations regarding Mr Rahul Gandhi's visit to OU due to security issues as he is under special security coverage."
Some student leaders from OU who have been actively pursuing to bring Rahul Gandhi to the campus, staged a dharna outside OU Vice Chancellor's office on Friday demanding that OU should grant permission for the seminar and threatened the administration with approaching the High Court if the demand is not met.
It may be mentioned here that in May 2015 too when Rahul Gandhi was on a tour of Telangana, many student leaders wanted him to visit OU campus which could not fructify.
K Manavatha Roy, PhD scholar at Department of Telugu and Chairman of Telangana Unemployed Students Joint Action Committee, who has been pursuing actively to bring Rahul to the campus since 2015 said, "How can the university deny an event based on security reasons. It is the job of the police to provide security and not the university officials. When we had submitted representation asking permission for conducting the event at Tagore Auditorium in university, we were even told to submit Rs 25,000 as advance. We wanted to speak about it to Vice Chancellor and Registrar but they were not reachable. If the university does not grant permission, we will approach the High Court."
Roy alleged, "The university is working on the directions of the Chief Minister, K Chandrashekar Rao. There is no reason as to why the university should deny permission for an event meant for an intellectual flow of ideas, to be held in closed doors inside an auditorium. It is not a political meeting."
When asked as to what are the security issues if Rahul Gandhi visits the campus, OU Vice-Chancellor, Prof S Ramachandram told Express,
"Another group of student leaders has approached us with representation asking for not allowing Rahul Gandhi to visit the campus and that they will hold protests if the event is allowed, which might create security issues. We want a university to be peaceful and do not want student groups warring against each other."
The TPCC also mobilised the support of as many as 17 students' unions in favour of Rahul's visit.
The other group of students who are opposed to Rahul Gandhi's visit and have threatened protests if the university gives permission for the event is the student's wing of TRS party, TRSV. The TRSV, the ruling TRS student wing leaders declared that they would oppose the entry of Rahul, as it is likely to spark off political controversies. ''When Osmania University students committed suicides for separate Telangana, where was Rahul Gandhi and why he failed to visit OU then ?'' they wondered.
AICC general secretary and TPCC in charge RC Khuntia said that if the Rahul tour in OU was obstructed now, the TPCC would take Rahul to OU in his next visit in next month. PCC chief N Uttam Kumar Reddy commented that the ruling TRS was scared of Rahul's visit to OU.