Hyderabad: Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh on Monday celebrated 'liberation day' amid tension at Osmania University where four people were injured in clashes with police, who prevented them from taking out a rally towards the state assembly, officials said.
Students, who wanted to march to the assembly to demand the government to officially celebrate the day, pelted stones at policemen when the latter stopped the rally at NCC Gate. Police retaliated with teargas shells.
Tension prevailed at the campus as the students holding national flags were trying to re-group. The Telangana Vidyarthi Parishad had given call for a march to the assembly.
Earlier, police arrested another group of university students when they tried to proceed towards the assembly complex to lay siege to it to demand passing of a resolution for formation of a separate Telangana state.
Police have imposed prohibitory orders in areas around the assembly building. The monsoon session of the state legislature began Monday.
It was on this day in 1948 that then Hyderabad state was merged with the Indian Union following the surrender of Nizam's army. This followed what is popularly known as India's Operation Polo or 'police action'.
Legislators of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Communist Party of India (CPI) paid tributes to martyrs of the Telangana movement at Gun Park in front of the assembly building.
TRS leader E. Rajender and BJP's state president G. Kishan Reddy demanded that the government officially celebrate the Telangana 'liberation day'.
Kishan Reddy said that while official celebrations are held every year in those districts of Karnataka and Maharashtra which were part of erstwhile Hyderabad State, it is unfortunate that no official celebrations are held in Telangana.
The day was celebrated at the offices of main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP), BJP, CPI, CPI-M, Lok Satta and other parties with the unfurling of the national flag.
TDP chief and former chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu unfurled the tricolour at the NTR Trust Bhavan, the party headquarters, and paid tributes to freedom fighters.
The BJP and some other groups have long been demanding official celebrations of Sep 17. They point out that while India achieved independence on Aug 15, 1947, the Hyderabad state became independent over a year later.
Successive governments in Andhra Pradesh have turned down the demand for official celebration of the day on the ground that this could create communal trouble in view of the serious reservations from the Muslim community.
Some Muslim groups are opposed to any celebrations as they claim that Muslims were massacred during 'police action'.
The Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), the Muslim political party, alleged that some people are trying to spread hatred towards the Muslims by celebrating Sep 17.
MIM leaders say there is only one Independence Day for the entire country and hence there is no need for separate celebrations in Telangana.
Telangana, which comprises Hyderabad and nine other districts, was part of princely state of Hyderabad along with some districts of the present day Karnataka and Maharashtra.