Hyderabad varsity students want VC to go

Hyderabad, March 30 (IANS) Students and two professors of University of Hyderabad vowed after their release from jail to intensify their struggle till Appa Rao is removed as the vice chancellor.

Stating that there was no going back on the movement following the suicide of Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula, they said the police repression had only strengthened their resolve.

Twenty-five students and two faculty members, who were released from jail on Tuesday night, reached the campus to a rousing welcome from friends.

A huge march was taken out on the campus with students raising revolutionary slogans and waving blue flags. They held torches as well as placards.

The students raised slogans demanding the arrest of Appa Rao, whose return as vice chancellor on March 22 led to violent protests and a police crackdown on protestors.

Those arrested and jailed addressed the gathering after midnight, narrating the ordeal they went through.

Tathagat Sengupta, one of the two professors arrested, said the crackdown was an attempt to divert the movement, which seeks justice for Rohith and students and members of all marginalized communities.

“Appa Rao and all his political masters should know that we will not give up this struggle,” said Tathagat, an assistant professor in mathematics department.

The students and professors recalled the incidents of March 22 and said the police beat them up in vans, took them from one police station to other, abused them and branded them anti-national.

“They (police) told us you are anti-national and Yakub Memons and you eat beef. They abused our mothers and sisters,” said K.Y. Ratnam, an associate professor in the political science department who spent nearly a week in jail.

He said the vice chancellor, instead of addressing dissent, went for despotic and authoritarian methods to crush it.

“Appa Rao should have been in jail for Rohith Vemula’s death but we were sent to jail,” said Ratnam, one of the founders of the Centre for Ambedkar Studies at the university.

Tathagat said the treatment of women students was beyond description. Donatha Prashanth, a student leader, said women students were molested.

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