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No let up in protests demanding ouster of Hyderabad university VC

DalitStudentSuicide Updated: Apr 01, 2016 20:50 IST
HT Correspondent
Rohith Vemula case

Security men taking away the students agitating for justice to Rohith Vemula at Hyderabad Central University last week.(PTI file)

Students continued protests in University of Hyderabad for ouster of the vice-chancellor, while Yogendra Yadav and other activists were denied entry into the campus on Friday.

Yadav and former IAS officer Chaya Ratan were invited by protesting students to address a public meeting but the university security stopped them at the main gate.

The ban on entry of ‘outsiders’ including media and activists imposed last week following vice-chancellor P Appa Rao’s return remained in force.

Addressing the students outside the campus, both Yadav and Chaya Ratan criticised the university authorities for imposing the curbs.

Yadav termed this as “gate meeting” which used to be the characteristic of trade union movement. He said universities were being turned into factories.

“This is the message they are giving. Come in get your degrees but don’t ask question, don’t debate, don’t discuss, don’t open your mind to anything other than your examination,” he said.

Yadav said this was happening in universities across the country but students were raising their voice.

Referring to the police crackdown on students last week, he said such action can’t suppress the movement.

He said Appa Rao had no moral authority to continue in his post as he doesn’t enjoy the trust of the most vulnerable students.

Calling the movement truthful, he advised the students to carry forward it in peaceful way by not resorting to any form of violence or counter violence.

Earlier, tension prevailed at the administration block of the university as students sat on protest in support of the demands including immediate removal and arrest of vice-chancellor Appa Rao.

The protesting students blocked the entrance to the building and stopped the employees. The university security sought help from police to end the blockade.

Joint Action Committee for Social Justice is demanding the university authorities to drop false charges against all students and open university gates for media and the public.

The JAC is also seeking action against the policemen responsible for ‘targetted violence’ against students on March 22.

The campus is witnessing the fresh bout of unrest since March 22 when Appa Rao returned as the vice-chancellor.

Students, who hold him responsible for the suicide of Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula, have refused to accept him as the head of the institution and are demanding his arrest.

During the police crackdown on protest, 25 students and two faculty members were arrested and jailed.

The students’ union has also sought President Pranab Mukherjee’s intervention to sack Appa Rao.