Hyderabad University VCs Return What we know so far
news Tuesday, March 22, 2016 - 14:26

On Tuesday morning, an email from Hyderabad University Vice Chancellor Apparao Podile’s VC’s official email id was set to students and lecturers, informing them that he was resuming charge.

Podile was forced to go on leave in January, after students protested against him over Rohith Vemula’s death. He has been booked under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocity) Act along with union labour minister Bandaru Dattatreya and ABVP leader Susheel Kumar.

Soon, students began to spread the message on social media and mobilise and on campus. Students began to assemble at the Shop Comm (Shopping Complex) and also at the VC’s lodge on the campus.

Students who spoke to The News Minute do not recall the exact time of events as they unfolded, but the VC’s lodge was damaged in a short period around 10.30 am.

Vykhari Aryat, one of the protesters, told The News Minute that the VC should be arrested, and that instead, he was resuming charge.

“He was booked under the SC / ST act, that’s important. He should have been arrested within 24 hours, but it has not happened in 60 days. With what audacity is he coming to campus. Instead of addressing the students, he is hiding there, with the help of ABVP students. He is making students fight each other, instead of addressing the larger issues. We believe in the Constitution, he should be arrested according to the law,” Vykhari said.

Another PhD scholar Shrikanth, said that the doors had been locked from inside by ABVP students. "When we managed to open the doors, there was already a lot of damage that could not have been done from outside. The TV was also on the floor," Shrikanth said.

Asked how she could be sure that the students were affiliated with the ABVP, Vykhari said that “They are known faces. We know they are ABVP. They were also talking among themselves just now.”

However, Susheel Kumar, the ABVP leader who has also been named in the FIR along with Apparao, told The News Minute that none of the students who were inside with the VC belonged to the ABVP.

When Vykhari and others reached the VC’s lodge, “there was a confrontation” between ABVP students and “some of us”. She said that the protesting students were being blocked by the ABVP students, who had locked the doors and arranged furniture to block the doors.

Students attempted to pull it open, and when it gave way, they began to pull out the furniture, damaging some of it.

Another student named Ayoob, told The News Minute that the furniture had been damaged in the commotion that ensued when the students protested. He said that police, students, non-teaching staff were all tussling with each other. “There was a lot of pulling and pushing. That’s how the furniture got damaged,” he said.

When some stringers and camera persons started taking videos, some of the students got angry, and there was an altercation between students and the journalists. Following this, some journalists protested in front of the VC’s house.

Currently, the VC is a room in the house, which had been surrounded by some students. Windows have been broken, a television set had been damaged.

Some of the faculty members and students said on condition of anonymity that they were not against the protest, but were unhappy with the damage to property.

It is unclear how many people have been injured, but they include one faculty member and a student. Ayoob, a student said that his friend was injured in the melee when students were attempting to get into the VC’s house. Glass from one of the broken windows fell on his thigh, and he has been hospitalized.

One of the faculty members Alok Pandey, has admitted to the health centre because of low blood pressure.

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