Student commits suicide in Hyderabad over Telangana row
A student of Hyderabad's Osmania University committed suicide on Wednesday, and left behind a note citing his frustration over the delay in the creation of a separate state of Telangana.
Media reports said the body of V Santosh, a zoology student, was found hanging from a tree in the campus.
The incident angered fellow students, who remembered Santosh as a sensitive person, pained by the bleak future of Telangana students in the absence of a separate state, and the lack of support from the region's top politicians.
Santosh's body was laid out in a coffin under a tent, surrounded by grieving relatives and students raising slogans.
A student at Osmania, Rahul, said that Santosh's frustration had stretched to its limit, precipitating an extreme step.
"The ministers from the Telangana region are not supporting the issue. They are supporting Andhra Pradesh. (Santosh) was very worried. He was frustrated that there were no jobs for us, and that he would be unable to support his family. He committed suicide when his worry reached an extreme, to exhort the leaders of Telangana to action in any way possible," he said.
Student activists called for a visit by top federal and provincial leaders to condole Santosh's demise, saying that the continuing string of suicides had to be stopped.
"We have lost nearly 1500 of our student leaders as well as martyrs. This has to be stopped somewhere. The sacrifices of these students are the responsibility of the central and state governments," said Tirumalai Kondal, spokesperson of the Osmania University Joint Action Committee (OUJAC).
The chances of an immediate resolution, paving the way for the formation of Telangana appears slim, as most politicians are sharply divided within their own parties on this issue.
The four-decade-old demand for Telangana, which is to be carved out of the economically less developed part of Andhra Pradesh, gathered momentum after the Congress party ruled federal government accepted the demand in principle.
The number of provincial lawmakers including ministers from the Telangana region who tendered their resignation was 33 and these were from the federal ruling Congress party and the regional outfits such as Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and Praja Rajyam Party as well as three independents.
The demand for the separate state has seen violent protests and political power play, with hundreds killed between 1969 and 1972.
Several protests and shutdowns had brought Andhra Pradesh to a near halt in 2009 and 2010 as pro-Telangana activists persisted with their demand.