The University of Hyderabad witnessed tension on campus once again on Thursday after five dalit students were suspended for one semester, for allegedly attacking another student.
The five students who were members of the Ambedkar Students Association (ASA) were suspended for allegedly attacking a student belonging to the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).
Students of various groups have been protesting in the university against police presence in the campus and alleged that the administration of the university was run by right-wing influences.
The decision to suspend the students, was taken based on the recommendations of the Proctoral Board, which is the disciplinary committee of the university.
However, terming the committee's report as 'biased,' students of various unions, in a joint statement said: "The suspension of five dalit students is yet another example displaying the nexus between the university administration and the right wing forces, inside and out the campus."
(Scenes from an earlier protest where the students and teachers had 'gheraod' the VC)
The suspension of the students, comes a day after the students held a general body meeting on Tuesday and decided to approach President Pranab Mukherjee, along with the authorities at the Universities Grants Commission (UGC) and the ministry of human resource development.
The entire incident began when three students of the ASA were detained by the police for allegedly attacking ABVP University president Susheel Kumar over a Facebook post last month.
Susheel Kumar underwent a surgery soon after the incident but the student groups claim that "The (Proctoral) board could not get any hard evidence of the beating," while adding that "reports submitted by the doctor also could not link or suggest that the surgery was the direct link of the assault,"
Protesting students have decided to organize a sit-in outside the registrar's office until the suspension is revoked.
The Vice-Chancellor of the university had earlier claimed that, â€śthe administration cannot take a stand against the police or against any direction from the MHRD, since it is the MHRD who funds the University.â€ť
Meanwhile, faculty members of the university will also go on an indefinite relay hunger strike starting Thursday to protest against â€śgender and racial discriminationâ€ť on Gracious Temsen, an associate professor of the varsity.
The teachers allege that the associate professor, who belonged to one of the north-eastern states, was subjected to a search by the university security and police based on a verbal complaint that there were 'illegal occupants' in her house.
Faculty members headed by University of Hyderabad Teachers Association (UHTA) have been demanding an unconditional apology from the university to Temsen for violating her privacy.