UoH students ransack VC lodge

UoH students ransack VC lodge
Highlights

Nearly 200 students of University of Hyderabad went berserk on Tuesday damaging windowpanes, doors, TV, furniture and CCTVs in the Vice-Chancellor’s lodge in protest against Vice-Chancellor Appa Rao Podile resuming charge after two months.

Hyderabad: Nearly 200 students of University of Hyderabad went berserk on Tuesday damaging windowpanes, doors, TV, furniture and CCTVs in the Vice-Chancellor’s lodge in protest against Vice-Chancellor Appa Rao Podile resuming charge after two months.

Violence erupted at around 10.40 am when students barged into the official residence of the VC and ransacked the place while Rao was holding a meeting with the deans and a few members of the Executive Council (EC). After the meeting, Appa Rao was scheduled to hold a press conference at 11.30 am to announce resumption of charge, but cancelled it following incidents of violence.

Appa Rao has been on indefinite leave since research scholar Vemula Rohith Chakravarti's suicide. Students have been demanding his resignation accusing him of 'murder'. Joint Action Committee for Social Justice member G Prabhakar said, “The VC thought that he will lose the post as he was away from the office for the past three months. We are not going to allow him to stay on the university campus.”

Later in the day, police evicted protesting students from the VC’s lodge. Reacting to the police action, some students resorted to stone pelting resulting in injuries to four police personnel. protesting students demanded that Appa Rao should be arrested immediately as he was charged under the SC, ST Atrocities Act following the suicide of Rohith.

One of the five suspended research scholars, D Prashant, said the VC has no moral right to resume duties and conduct an Executive Committee meeting since a case with regards to Vemula’s suicide was still pending against him. "At the behest of (Union Minister) Venkaiah Naidu, he (VC) came to the university. At the behest of the central government, he occupied the VC seat despite the fact that the whole university resisted Rao's entry in to the campus," he said.

Prashant said that the VC lodge was ransacked by members of ABVP and not by the protesters. Speaking to reporters, Appa Rao said it was a black day in the University of Hyderabad. “I was having a meeting with some deans and members of the executive committee. A group of students banged the doors, ransacked the office and resorted to violence of a magnitude which we have never seen in the university,” he said.

The VC said the university internal mechanisms would address issues if students have any. “Unfortunately, these groups of students have broken everything. They have not given any representation... they have not even asked us to talk. They just banged and broke the doors,” Appa Rao said.

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