Protesting students detained for bid to enter HCU seeking VC's removal

Protesting students detained for bid to enter HCU seeking VC's removal

Protesting students detained for bid to enter HCU seeking VC's removal
Fresh protests rocked the Hyderabad Central University (HCU) today as members of the Left-affiliated student unions tried to force their way into the university campus demanding Vice-Chancellor Appa Rao Podile's removal over the suicide of Rohith Vemula, even as police took into preventive custody 83 of the protesters.

In a new development, Controller of Examination Professor V Krishna walked out of the Academic Council Meeting in the Varsity to express his solidarity with the agitators as protests by scores of students as part of 'Chalo HCU' were held at the gate of campus.

The 'Chalo HCU' call was given by Joint Action Committee (JAC) for Social Justice of HCU to intensify their ongoing agitation demanding removal and arrest of Podile, who resumed as VC on March 22 after being on leave for two months.

Some of the protesters, who claimed that Podile has no right to chair the AC meeting, climbed the main entrance gate even as police deployed in large numbers, immediately intervened and prevented them from entering the campus and took them into preventive custody.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Bhujanga Rao said there was no permission for outsiders to enter the HCU campus. "They tried to barge into the campus...In view of the law and order issue, police stopped them and took 83 of them into preventive arrest," he said.

Prashant, a JAC member said, "We will seek cooperation from different political parties and students and civil organisations to build pressure on BJP government for sacking Appa Rao."

The protesting students raised slogans against Podile and held banners asking him to leave the campus. They said Podile has been booked on charge of abetting suicide of Vemula, and questioned how can he chair the AC meeting. @Body:

The JAC had earlier appealed to all the students, political organisations, and people to come to the HCU today to register their protest and express solidarity seeking justice for Vemula.

"Since the university administration has imposed a blockade on the campus preventing students to contact anyone from outside, 'Chalo HCU' call is also against the imposed blockade on the university," JAC had said.

On March 23, the varsity authorities had decided not to allow any outsider, including media-persons and politicians, on the campus. HCU has seen sporadic protests by a section of students after Vemula committed suicide in a hostel room of the varsity.

The JAC claimed that the two-member inquiry commission constituted by the HRD Ministry has blamed the VC and the administration for Vemula's death. It said that as HRD ministry's judicial probe is still going on, Podile's presence as VC can "tamper" the inquiry process.

Meanwhile, referring to media reports that some review papers that were published by Podile before being appointed as VC, carried "plagiarised content", varsity's authorised spokesperson Vipin Srivastava said, "They are review articles by Podile...only one sentence has been repeated. Both are his own articles. This does not amount to plagiarism by any stretch of imagination."

Meanwhile, the 76th meeting of the Academic Council (AC) of HCU decided to put in place a mechanism to redress relevant issues at the earliest, including with regard to the appointment of an Ombudsman, activating the Equal Opportunities Cell and appointment of Anti-Discrimination Officer in line with relevant UGC Regulations of 2012.

The AC meeting came on the heels of the announcement of high national ranking achieved by the HCU and receiving the best rating in meeting the requirement of Social Justice. 106 faculty members out of the total of 170 attended the meeting, a statement from HCU said.

The members observed a minute's silence and offered condolence on the demise of Prof A V Raja, Professor of Economics and PhD scholar Rohith K Vemula.

The meeting also discussed finalisation of entrance examin schedule for the admissions for academic year 2016-17.

The notification for admissions will be released at the earliest and online applications will be available from April 11 to May 10. It was also decided to reduce the application fee for OBC candidates, the statement said.  

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