Tension prevailed at Hyderabad Central University on Saturday as members of Progressive Democratic Students Union (PDSU) staged a protest demanding the arrest of vice-chancellor Appa Rao
Podile for allegedly abetting the suicide of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula.
The protest took place even as Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekhar Rao said that he will take up the matter of Podile’s recall with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Security personnel reportedly stopped the protesting students at the main gate and did not let them enter the campus. Protestors demanded Podile’s arrest and blamed the V-C for Vemula’s suicide. They also demanded the release of the students and faculty members who were arrested recently.
Meanwhile, Podile requested the students and their parents to help the varsity function in a smooth manner. “The university administration seeks your kind cooperation and requests you to advise your ward to avoid any activity that will affect the reputation of the institution from which they wish to graduate,” he said.
“The university was and will always be committed to freedom of speech and expression. While difference of opinion and dissent is not discouraged, the university certainly does not take kindly to vandalism and other acts of indiscipline,” Rao said.
He was referring to the ransacking of the V-C’s lodge on March 22 allegedly by students, when he resumed his duty after going on leave at the height of the agitation.
He said the university has set up mechanisms for grievance redressal. “We request you to please remain in touch with your ward and encourage them to seek redressal through those mechanisms, should they need it, at their respective department/school.”
He said: “We wish to reassure the parents that the university will always be for students and will not shirk its responsibility towards them”.