Hyderabad: The Telangana police detained 11 students of the University of Hyderabad (UoH) on 8 January when they were protesting against the alleged encroachment of university land by TRS leaders.

The students launched a protest after over 100 feet of the university compound wall near Indian School of Business was demolished on 7 January for the construction of a road near the gated TNGO colony which is allegedly owned by TRS party leaders.

The police detained the students after they gathered near the demolition site and started protesting. They were taken to the RC Puram police station.

"The feudal TRS party and its goons are yet again on their spree to usurp university land. They have been trying this for a long time and the last attempt was on 21 October 2020 in the east part of the campus. At that time the students were successful in preventing the land grab. Yesterday, TRS party goons came again and brought the police to grab the east part of the university land," said the UoH students' union.

The students alleged that in 2020 there were two major land encroachment attempts supported by the state government officials. "First was in February and the second in October. There were such incidents in 2019 and 2018 as well for the construction of roads in the university land. Why does the state issue no prior information to the University of Hyderabad officials while demolishing the boundary walls of the campus? Why is there no notice served by the state government to the university authorities.? If there was an official notice, where is the documented proof? Why are the police involved in land issues? Why did the RDO and the police come to the spot.? Why do they have a special interest in UoH lands?" asked Rohit Bondugula, ABVP and wildlife activist. He was among those detained on Friday.

Students also alleged that there's a 100-feet road leading to the TNGO colony. "What is the purpose of constructing another stretch of road through the University of Hyderabad forest? There is already a huge road leading to the colony. The UoH campus is listed as an 'urban forest' which is rich in biodiversity. The biodiversity here may be hampered if a road is constructed through the forest," Rohit Bondugula told NewsMeter over the phone.

The students also pointed out that there have already been several trespassing and poaching offences.

UoH is known as 'the lungs of Hyderabad' and is home to over 200 species of birds and wild animals like monitor lizards, porcupines, wild boars, spotted deer, peacocks, Asian palm civets, and many other endangered species. Several migratory birds also visit the campus.

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