His detention comes on the same day that students of UoH are staging largescale protests on campus.

Rohith Vemula death anniversary Frontline journalist detained by police for trespassing
news Media Tuesday, January 17, 2017 - 15:38

A journalist working with Frontline magazine was detained by the Cyberabad police on Tuesday, after the University of Hyderabad (UoH) accused him of trespassing into their campus. His detention came on the same day that students of UoH are staging largescale protests on campus to commemorate the one year death anniversary of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula.

Kunal Shankar, the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana correspondent for Frontline had gone to cover the protests, when he was accused of trespassing by university authorities.  “I had gone to campus on Monday night on the invitation of a professor. I ended up staying the night and the next morning when I was taking pictures on campus, the university security picked me up and brought me to the main gate and started questioning me,” Kunal told TNM.  

At around 11:30am, he was taken to the Cyberabad Commissionerate at Gachibowli, where he was interrogated for around an hour.

TV Rao, Chief Secretary Officer, UoH said, “Yesterday there was a protest rally that the students took out. When the rally happened, I saw him go in with the students. When I asked him who he is, some students defended him. In the morning, I saw him again and that’s when the university formally registered a complaint with the police.”

UoH’s complaint with the Cyberabad police cites the Hyderabad High Court’s interim order issued last April, directing the registrar and the police commissioner to not allow any political party or association to hold a meeting on the university premises. The ban had also extended to the media and ‘outsiders’.

However, Kunal says that he was not given a copy of the complaint.

While Kunal was released by the police later, he said they refused to divulge if a case has been lodged against him. Cyberabad police, however, denied that the Frontline correspondent had been arrested and said, “There is no question of arrest. This matter is under investigation.”

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