Hyd varsity students protest VC's return

Hyd varsity students protest VC's return

Hyd varsity students protest VC's return
The University of Hyderabad resembled a battlefield on Tuesday with students opposing the return of vice-chancellor P Appa Rao from indefinite leave being caned after they pelted stones on the police.

Appa Rao was on indefinite leave following the suicide of Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula on January 17.

Several agitating students and a few policemen were injured during the six-hour long protest. Police forcefully evicted the students from near the vice-chancellor’s lodge and arrested several of them.

Earlier, the agitating students ransacked the office and lodge of the vice-chancellor opposing his assuming office.

One student and chief proctor Alok Pandey were injured and several media persons were manhandled minutes before the vice-chancellor was to address the media at 11.30 am at his lounge announcing his comeback.

A press statement due for release clearly stated that the vice-chancellor, who was on long leave, would assume office on March 22. The varsity  website also mentioned that Appa Rao would be back in office from Tuesday.

Students opposing the re-entry of Appa Rao jumped the perimeter wall and ransacked the VC's lodge on the university campus. They broke glass panes, furniture, ornamental plants and a TV before locking up the teaching staff, who were attending the Deans and executive committee meeting.

With the petrified university officials seeking protection, the police arrived in riot gear and provided a security blanket to the  VC and others. Thereafter, the students left  the VC's lodge but continued their sit-in. “I am shocked by the attack; violence will not solve any problem. We could have discussed and solved any outstanding issues peacefully,” Appa Rao told the media. “A few students are trying to project me as a representative of a particular political party. This way no university can function in this country,” Appa Rao said, adding that there is no regulation that a VC cannot function till the judicial probe on Rohith’s death is complete.

However, the students, particularly from the Ambedkar Students Association (ASA) that spearheaded the Rohith movement, are in no mood for conciliation. “Prof Appa Rao must be put behind bars,” a ASA representative said.

"The VC has invited ABVP students to the lodge where the Executive committee meeting is on. He also invited students from life sciences, which is his department. They are the ones that attacked us and broke window panes by throwing chairs. We have the footage and will upload it for everyone to see who created the ruckus," a girl student rued. Fuelling the pent up emotions on the campus, the teaching and non-teaching staff were divided on the return of Prof Appa Rao. Meanwhile, the state CPI said JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar will be visiting UoH on Wednesday to participate in a condolence meet for Rohith.