The staff objected to the violence that erupted at the VC's lodge during student protests

In Hyd Uni no food and water for students as non-teaching staff boycott duties
news Student Protests Wednesday, March 23, 2016 - 09:00

Protesting students at the University of Hyderabad were in for a shock on Tuesday night, when they returned to their hostels and found that none of them would receive any food in their hostel messes.

All that students coming at dinner time could find were empty, completely deserted mess halls. In all 20 hostels on campus, messes had been shut down as the non-teaching staff of the university had boycotted their duties in protest against the students’ actions at VC Appa Rao Podile’s residence during the day.

According to Ramesh, a hosteler at the University, the actions of the non-teaching staff were the result of a tussle between protesting students and some staff members earlier in the day. "We got breakfast and lunch, but when the protest was taking place some of the non-teaching staff were supporting the VC. This was not liked by the protesting students, and there was a tussle between the students and non-teaching staff".

As a direct result of this tussle, he says, no food was available for any students on the campus. He adds that other vital amenities such as water supply and internet connections had also been disrupted. "When we came back to the hostel after our classes there was no Internet connection and there was no water. Generally we get water around 6 pm but there was no water at all, even in the mess.”

Srikanth, another hosteler, said that most students were forced to find some means to cook for themselves since they could not all afford to buy meals from outside. “Buying food from outside is difficult for us as there are so many students from poor backgrounds staying in the hostels.”

He added that if water, food and Internet connections are not provided to students it would adversely affect their preparations for exams slated to begin from April 16.

"We strongly feel that administration have cut off the Internet connection because they don't want students to communicate with each other. Most of the students depend on WiFi in the campus, especially to reach students regarding the protests,” he said.

Sushmitha, another student, added that there were possibilities other services might be withdrawn as well, "The non-teaching staff now support the VC so they want to teach us (students) a lesson. So we have no food, no water, no Internet connection and we also heard that from tomorrow we may not even have electricity. That is pathetic!” 

However, the students are determined to continue with their protests against the VC. Said Srikanth: "Before Rohith's death nobody was bothered about the five suspended students, nobody enquired anything about their suspension. Even after his death there is no investigation into the case, and everything is a preplanned investigation. We have only request, that the VC should face investigation and Rohith and other suspended students should get justice and there should be no Rohith in the future".

Meanwhile, representatives of the non-teaching staff reportedly said that they were opposed to the students indulging in violence and destroying university property, and this was the reason for their boycott of duties. “We are against the violence that erupted at the VC’s lodge in the morning. Considering welfare of the university, we support the VC,” D Shivaiah, general secretary of the Staff Union reportedly said. 

All student names have been changed on request.


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