The storm over the suicide of a dalit student in Hyderabad University intensified on Thursday, despite the revocation of the suspension of four of his co-research scholars.
The university snapped Internet and Wi-Fi connections to prevent students from reaching out. Even the computer centre and library were locked up and when students asked for a reason, they were told that this has been done as per a "verbal order from higher authorities," the Times of India reported.
"We received a call yesterday night from higher ups to snap all services to students' hostels as well as other common areas. Wi-Fi was asked to be kept off as well. Internet is off since midnight here," a staffer at the Campus Network Facility (CNF) centre, who did not wish to be named told TOI.
"Internet services have been completely cut off since morning. We have asked visitors to help us with dongles and three people gave us their dongles to support us," Krishna Naik, an ASA member told the newspaper.
Meanwhile, the Controller of Examinations and 12 other faulty members belonging to SC/ST communities gave up their administrative posts in solidarity on Thursday.
Wilting under relentless pressure from the students agitating for the removal of the Vice Chancellor Appa Rao and punishment for those responsible for the suicide of Rohith Vemula, the varsity Executive Council met and decided to "terminate" the punishment imposed on the students.
But the protesting students were not satisfied with the revocation of the suspension and burnt copies of the EC decision.
In solidarity with the students, the Controller of Examinations, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Warden were among the 13 faculty members belonging to SC-ST communities who gave up their administrative posts which they were holding as an additional responsibility.
"The VC must go. This (revocation) is a welcome decision. But we can't celebrate it because Rohith is not there. We are not able to accept your decision. We have other demands like appropriate compensation and a job for one of the members of Rohith's family," Vinay Kumar, one of the students, whose suspension was revoked, said
"Can revoking of suspension bring back Rohit's life? Why was this not done earlier when the issue was raised? We will continue with the agitation till our demands are met which include action against the Vice Chancellor and resignation of the two Union ministers," Shehla Rashid Shora, secretary JNU Students Union, who was in Hyderabad along with a two-member delegation, told PTI.
DU professor, Abha Dev Habib, said "This hooliganism on campuses has to stop. The government or the university can't do damage control just by revoking the suspension. We demand that the Vice Chancellor be penalised for this and his accountability should be defined".