March 26th, 2016
Image Courtesy: manoramaonline dc
Last few days, there has been mayhem at the Hyderabad University Campus over the return of the vice chancellor Mr. Appa Rao who had been subjected to a judicial probe pertaining to the suicide of Rohith Vemula. The unrest in the campus has been unprecedented with clashes between police and students resulting in injuries to many besides arrest of scholars and students. We will through this article look into what triggered this clash, the present status and the prognosis of the same.
What triggered the incident?
It all started when Appa Rao Profile, Vice Chancellor of Hyderabad University, who is currently facing a judicial probe over the death of Ph.D. scholar Rohith Vemula, came back to his office after a month leave. Vemula had committed suicide last January and his suicide note highlighted the reality of caste discrimination on campus as he — along with four other Dalit scholars — had been expelled from the University hostels.
Students Indulge In Violence
The VC’s return faced strong protests by students and teachers that led to vandalism of his office and house. Angered by this, Rao appealed the police to take stern steps. The violence eventually injured one policeman. Hyderabad University saw unprecedented violence being carried out on the campus last Tuesday, where the police were let loose and they allegedly assaulted students and professors inside the campus, who were protesting against the return of Vice Chancellor Appa Rao Profile under whose watch scholar Rohith Vemula had to commit suicide. The police were joined by Rapid Action Force (RAF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and security personnel upon the orders of the Central and state government.
Why are the students protesting?
Appa Rao was compelled to take a long leave of the suicide of Rohith Vemula followed a nationwide protest demanding his resignation. An FIR was launched against him and his anticipatory bail plea was not accepted by the court. He has been already found guilty of suppressing several documents and evidence including police commissioner C.V. Anand’s affidavit. Students were protesting on the ground how can the main perpetrator come back and resume his office, while the enquiry is still going on.
Brutality in the campus
After widespread protest and condemnation supplies of food and water have been restored. However, students are still recovering in hospitals across the city. The locations of the arrested students and staff are still unknown. A wing of 14 students group, who formed the Joint action committee for justice (JAC) accused the police forces of beating and sexually assaulting the women teachers and students while evicting them.
Brutal lathi charge on other students have left several injured and one student in ICU where he was taken unconsciously. A situation like emergency has been imposed in the university campus after the authorities have put a restriction on water, food, internet and communication.
ATM cards of State Bank of Hyderabad were also blocked so that the student are left without any help. 36 students and three professors were picked up on Tuesday, they were brutally beaten in a police van and detained in unknown locations all night.
Ph.D. scholar Uday Bhanu was reportedly attacked by the police for cooking food for students on campus. He was admitted unconscious to ICU and his condition is serious. The authorities prohibited him as he was trying to ensure that the students got a meal.
What people said
CPI(M) general secretary demanded an immediate release of students saying, “In the fitness of living up to your own proclamations and assurances, the arrested students must be released immediately and the cases against them are dropped. The Telangana Police must immediately proceed to the registered cases against the vice-chancellor. As this is a central university, we are demanding of the central government that their appointed vice-chancellor be removed forthwith.”
Kanhaiya Kumar said “Are we doing politics or is the government is doing politics? The government has a pre-planned script to destroy the autonomy of universities… The precise work of universities, intellectuals is to promote critical thinking,”
“Why is it that vice-chancellor Prof. Appa Rao Profile is being allowed to continue despite a police case and judicial inquiry against him? Are we not being served justice because we are Dalits,” Radhika Vemula asked while speaking to the media.
The Logical Indian will keep track of the happening at the Hyderabad University and keep you updated on the same. We condemn the violence perpetrated by the students and the attacks, arrest and manhandling of students and professors by the police. We request the central government to intervene, bring all the stakeholders together and engage in a dialogue over the controversy of reinstatement of Mr. Appa Rao. We also appeal to the government to take care of the students who were injured and ensure normalcy is restored in the university campus at the earliest.