Students protesting encroachment on varsity land detained

Hyderabad, Jan 8 (IANS): There was tension at the University of Hyderabad campus on Friday as the police detained a group of students for protesting against the alleged encroachment on university land for building a road.

Alleging that the construction of a road for the Telangana Non-gazetted Officers' Associations' colony on the university land would destroy biodiversity in the campus, the varsity students staged a protest.

The Hyderabad police detained the protesting students and took them to R.C. Puram police station. Wildlife activist and state Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad co-convenor Rohit Bondugula told IANS that he along with 14 other students were detained by the police.

He alleged that the police obstructed a peaceful protest and manhandled the students.

The students alleged that the authorities demolished 100 feet of the compound wall near the Indian School of Business to build the road. They claimed that the state government gave no prior notice to the varsity authorities.

Saying there was already a road leading to the colony, the students questioned the need for building another road. The university has become a hotspot for land encroachers supported by the government, they said.

"There have been continuous attempts by private builders with the help of the authorities to encroach on the university land," the students said.

They claimed that there have been a series of land encroachments over the last one decade. In 2020 alone, there were two major land encroachment attempts. There were such incidents in 2019 and 2018 as well for the construction of a road on the university land. Another major encroachment took place in 2013-14.

The detained students pointed out that the university campus is listed in urban forests and is rich in biodiversity. "There had been several trespassing and poaching offences. This latest attempt will give a boost to poaching and trespassing into the forest, pose a threat to wildlife and lead to security concerns for female students," they said.

The varsity campus is home to more than 200 species of birds and many wild animals such as monitor lizards, porcupines, wild boars, spotted deer, peacocks, Asian palm civets and many other endangered species.



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