Hyderabad: In what seems to be a case of stifling dissent, Hyderabad police locked down all the three gates of the English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU) to prevent students from taking out a march. Some of the students had planned to join the anti-CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) protest held near Mozamjahi market on March 1. However, students alleged that the police had locked the three gates of the university for at least two hours around evening to prevent them from exiting and entering the university.

After EFLU students raised a hue and cry, the gates were opened and people were allowed to move in and out of the university. However, several students allege police were allowed inside the campus and questioned the administration as to why and how this permission was given. Speaking to NewsMeter, Harshal Deshpande, EFLU Students’ Union Vice President said, “The police said that they received intelligence inputs that ABVP leaders were going to attack if EFLU students took out a march. They locked down the university based on that. If that were the case, why do they not arrest the ones who are coming to attack? This is not acceptable.”

The student leader further added that the EFLU Proctor had given police the permission to enter campus as well. “We don’t know on what basis this was given. As for the lockdown, many were put at an inconvenience: some had to catch flights, some had urgent appointments- but the police kept students under lockdown,” he said.

However, according to the police, not many students had wanted to go outside, at that point of time. B Anil Kumar, Sub-Inspector, Osmania University police station said, “Some students had gone for the protest in the morning. Now, not many students are there who want to go outside. I am standing near gate no. 2 and there’s nobody here. We are standing here in the campus only because an anti-NRC protest is happening and to prevent any untoward incidents that it may lead to.” Anjani Kumar, Commissioner of Police, Hyderabad also denied the claims and said, “There was police pressure, but we did not lock down the university.”

Amritha Mohan

Amritha Mohan is a reporter at the NewsMeter. Shortly after completing her Master's in Communication at the University of Hyderabad, she began teaching courses on media and culture as a guest lecturer at the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU), Shillong. Amritha has previously interned with news organisations such as Greater Kashmir and Newslaundry. A lover of travel and photography, she spends most of her time planning road trips to the North-East. Nothing makes her happier than a green turf and a team to play football with. She primarily reports on education, tech, human-interesting and critical features.

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