Starting September, the ministry sent four reminder until November

Why did HRD ministry send four reminders to HCU on Ambedkar Students Association
news Rohith Vemula Tuesday, January 19, 2016 - 14:51

Following Dalit PhD scholar Rohith Vemula’s death in Hyderabad Central University, questions are being raised about what is being called the interference of union Minister of State for Labour Bandaru Dattatreya and the Ministry of Human Resources Development into the affairs of a university.

The tussle between the ASA and the ABVP started last August when the ASA protested against the hanging of Yakub Memon. However, according to ASA students, what led to the suspension of the five students was the “false complaint” filed by the ABVP against ASA activists claiming that ASA members had assaulted N Susheel Kumar in the early hours of August 4, 2015.

Following this, Dattatreya wrote to the MHRD, following which, the latter wrote to the university five times seeking a response on the “facts” of the case.

Dattatreya’s letter

On August 17, Bandaru Dattatreya wrote to Minister for Human Resources Development Smriti Irani seeking her intervention into the alleged assault on Kumar and the atmosphere of the university.

He said: “Hyderabad University … has, in the recent past, become a den of casteist, extremist, and anti-national politics. This could be visualised from the fact that when Yakub Memon was hanged, a dominant students union, that is, Ambedkar Students Union has held protests against the execution. When Shri Susheel Kumar President, ABVP in the campus protested against this, he was manhandled and as a result he was admitted in the hospital. What is more tragic is that the University Administration has become a mute spectator to such events.”

MHRD’s letters

From the letters of the MHRD, written by the senior bureaucracy, it is clear that the ministry wrote to the university at least five times.

On receipt of Dattatreya’s letter, an email was sent on September 3 to the Registrar of the university from the Under Secretary of the MHRD, Ramji Pandey. In the email he said that “issues raised by Hon’ble MoS may kindly be examined and facts may be intimated to the Ministry to enable us to submit reply to MoS.”

By this time, however, on August 12, the Proctorial Board of the university – which investigates complaints – had already submitted its report.

Deccan Chronicle reported that the Proctorial Board of the university said in its report that there was no medical proof that Kumar was assaulted by ASA students.

However, the Board then changed its opinion and then decided to suspend the five students of the ASA, Deccan Chronicle reported.

On October 20, Joint Secretary Sukhbir Singh Sandhu wrote to the Vice Chancellor, saying that “the facts called for” through email on September 3, and reminders on September 24, and October 6 had not received so far.

“I would appreciate if you could look into the matter personally and get the facts provided at the earliest to enable the ministry to submit a reply to the MoS,” Sandhu said.

Last, on November 19 Pandey wrote to the Vice Chancellor Appa Rao Podile saying that “comments/facts have not been received so far” on the “antinational activities in Hyderabad university and violent attack on Nandanam Susheel Kumar”.

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