Hyderabad varsity students return to classes

Hyderabad, March 29 (IANS) A number of Hyderabad Central University students joined classes on Tuesday after the Joint Action Committee urged students and faculty to return to classes wearing blue ribbons on their sleeves as mark of protest.

A section of teachers at the university, however, went on mass leave to protest police brutality on students on March 22.

About 40 faculty members belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes proceeded on one day’s mass leave to condemn the police crackdown on the campus.

The teachers said their protest was also against Vice Chancellor P. Appa Rao, whose return triggered fresh bout of violent protest on the campus last week.

Stating that Appa Rao’s return has disturbed the academic life, the Joint Action Committee for Social Justice urged the students and faculty to resume their academic activities and classes alongside the protests.

The JAC, which comprises 14 student groups, said it was the end of the semester and an important time for many students for their future.

“We appeal to the students to use blue ribbons as a means of protest, declaration and reminder of the fact that our fight is still on while going about their classes, labs and other activities,” a JAC statement.

The university has witnessed turmoil since January 17 when Rohith Vemula, one of the five Dalit students suspended by the university, committed suicide.

Appa Rao had gone on leave after he was named in the First Information Report (FIR). The students had lost classes for two weeks due to the protests.

Appa Rao’s return on March 22 sparked massive protest by the students, who ransacked VC Lodge. In the subsequent police action, 22 students and two faculty members were arrested and sent to jail.

A city court on Monday granted bail to them. They are expected to be released later on Tuesday.

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