Hyd varsity in-charge VC faces ire of students, teachers

Hyd varsity in-charge VC faces ire of students, teachers
A day after his appointment, the Hyderabad Central University's interim Vice-Chancellor today faced calls to step down from students and a section of faculty over his alleged involvement in a 2008 suicide amid raging protests over the death of Dalit scholar Rohit Vemula.

The Joint Action Committee (JAC) for Social Justice, spearheading the agitation over the alleged suicide of Rohit, and the SC/ST Faculty Forum rejected the appointment of Vipin Srivastava as in-charge Vice-Chancellor of the university.

"It is to bring to your notice again that in 2008, Vipin Srivastava was the main accused in yet another institutional murder of Senthil Kumar, a Dalit research scholar in the Department of Physics," the JAC said.

Alleging that Srivastava was implicated in the alleged suicide of a Dalit student in 2008 and also related to Rohit's death, the Forum said his functioning as in-charge VC is "legally untenable" and demanded that he step down.

"In the light of your such moral, ethical and legal involvement, we demand that you step down from the Vice- Chancellor's office immediately in the larger interest of University of Hyderabad (also called Hyderabad Central University)," the Forum said.

Soon after his appointment, Srivastava had said the matter related to the 2008 suicide case "has been sorted out".

Facing students' protest over Rohit's suicide last week, Vice-Chancellor Appa Rao Podile yesterday proceeded on leave for an indefinite period, saying he was "advised to be little away from campus" to break the current "impasse".

In the absence of Podile, Srivastava, the senior most Professor, shall perform the duties of the Vice-Chancellor with effect from January 24, the HCU has said.

The JAC also claimed that faculty members are resigning from three administrative functions in protest.

The JAC demanded that Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani be sacked from her post and a "Rohit Act" be enacted to give legislative protection for students belonging to marginalised community in higher education institutions.

The JAC warned it will call for a bandh in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh if the demands are not met.

Meanwhile, protests escalated today at the varsity with several students from other universities and some social groups coming out in support of HCU students agitating over the death of Rohit.  

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