Students, teachers associations seek removal of Hyderabad varsity VC

New Delhi, March 28 (IANS) Students’ and teachers’ associations here on Monday sought immediate removal and arrest of University of Hyderabad (UoH) Vice Chancellor P. Appa Rao in wake of the recent violence in the varsity campus.

The Joint Action Committee for Social Justice (Delhi), formed to fight for justice to Hyderabad varsity Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula who committed suicide, condemned the attack on its teachers and students in a crackdown after some students had ransacked VC’s office in the campus.

“The Joint Action Committee for Social Justice strongly condemns the unprovoked and brutal lathi-charge on the students and faculty of UoH on March 22nd by Telengana Police, Rapid Action Force (RAF) and CRPF,” the committee said in a statement.

“His (Appa Rao) sudden and secretive return to the university after a two months long ‘indefinite leave’ and resumption of VC’s charge jeopardise any possibility of a fair inquiry and hope for justice for Rohith Vemula,” it added.

The Federation of Central Universities Teachers Association (FEDCUTA) also condemned the attack on the students in Hyderabad as an attempt to curb dissent.

“There is an attempt to crush students and teachers movements. The students leaders are being attacked in one way or the other. We have right to discuss all kinds of issues. Because we’re having discussions (about the issues) we are dubbed as anti-nationals,” said FEDCUTA president Nandita Narain at a press conference.

Both outfits raised several demands including resignation of Appa Rao and judicial enquiry into the role of Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani for communal incidents in the campus and suicide of Vemula.

“We demand judicial enquiry into the role of HRD minister and union minister Bandaru Dattatreya in inciting violence against Dalits on campus and death of Rohith Vemula,” they said in a joint statement.

They also further demanded passage of “Rohith Act” against caste discrimination in education and arrest of all culprits booked under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 in Vemula’s suicide case.

Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers Association President Ajay Patnaik, Jamia Teachers Solidarity Association Manisha Sethi and Delhi University professor N. Sukumar, an alumni of UoH also expressed solidarity with the agitating students of the varsity.

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