Hyderabad, March 26 (IANS) Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Saturday announced that he will take up with Prime Minister Narendra Modi the demand for recall of University of Hyderabad Vice Chancellor P. Appa Rao.
Replying to a debate in the assembly on the unrest in the central university in the wake of Appa Rao resuming charge as the vice chancellor, he said he would bring to Modi’s notice the incidents that occurred in the aftermath of suicide of research scholar Rohith Vemula. He expressed the hope that a solution will be found soon.
KCR, as the leader is popularly known, was responding to the demand by Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) and others that the house pass a resolution to urge the central government to recall Appa Rao as VC as his return has created fresh unrest.
Stating that UoH is a central institution institution and does not fall under the state government’s purview, he rejected the demand.
He also announced that a probe by a senior official will be conducted into the incidents that occurred on the campus on March 22.
“If any excesses were found to be committed by police, government will take appropriate action,” he said.
Alleging that police committed atrocities on students, the opposition Congress and MIM wanted a thorough probe.
The issue rocked the house as it was adjourned thrice before the government accepted the opposition demand for a debate.
Intervening in the debate, Home Minister N. Narasimha Reddy gave a new twist to the row by stating that Rohith Vemula who committed suicide in January was not a Dalit, but belonged to Vadera, a Other Backward Caste (OBC). This evoked strong reaction from members of the Congress.
Later, the chief minister in his reply said that since Rohith hailed from Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh, it is for the government of that state to come out with details.
KCR said irrespective of whether he was a Dalit or not, a bright student losing his life this way pained him and everyone and called for collective efforts to build a society free from discrimination.
He assured the house that the TRS government will take a lead in ensuring that such unfortunate incidents do not recur.
On Congress member Bhatti Vikramarka’s criticism for not visiting the university, the chief minister admitted that he was in a dilemma whether to go there or not in view of the situation created by the visit of Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and leaders of various parties but had deputed local MP Vishweshwar Reddy to go and gather details after the incident.
KCR claimed he had directed police not to create hurdles in the visit of Jawaharlal Nehru University Student Union president Kanhaiya Kumar to Hyderabad University on March 23 and personally directed the state police chief not to arrest him .
He claimed that it was not police but university security personnel who stopped the JNU student leader from entering following the vice chancellor’s order that no outsider will be allowed.
Earlier, making a statement on March 22 incident, the home minister said about 100 students barged into VC lodge where Appa Rao was holding a meeting with some staff members and ransacked the office.
Narasimha Reddy said the VC had to hide himself in a room. Police reached the spot and tried to remove students from there, which six hours.
“However, the students tried to re-enter the building. They pelted stones and attacked police, critically injuring four police personnel including a woman inspector,” he said.
The home minister said two cases were registered and 25 students and other staff members were arrested and produced in the court.
The debate was marred by sharp exchanges between MIM and BJP members. MIM leader Akbaruddin Owaisi alleged that Sangh Parivar was seeking to establish its monopoly and impose its ideology in the educational institutions and advised TRS government not to fall in the trap.
Bharatiya Janata Party leader K. Laxman said action should be taken against those who were indulging in anti-national activities.