HCU limps back to normalcy as classes resume despite boycott

Protesting students had demanded that the VC be arrested as he was one of the accused in Vemula's alleged suicide.

Hyderabad: Classes resumed in Hyderabad Central University Monday after being suspended since March 23, amid a fresh boycott call given by Joint Action Committee for Social Justice (JAC) which is leading the protest on Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula's suicide issue.

"Classes have resumed from today.... The Vice-Chancellor has also appealed students to attend the classes," HCU registrar M Sudhakar said.

Read: Students must focus only on studies: Hyderabad varsity V-C

The JAC had yesterday called for boycott of classes "on all the campuses" in the country including HCU, even as its Vice Chancellor had appealed students to attend the classes.

Assuring the students that they would get full support from him and the teachers in attending classes, Prof Podile, said in a circular that students must focus on their studies and not get deterred by any “advise or persuasion”.

It read: “Students should think only about their studies, classes, minor examinations and semester exams, and should not be deterred by any advice or persuasion to the contrary. You will get all possible support from me and your teachers in this regard.”

"At this point in time the students and the faculty members are concerned only about completing on time the remaining classes to be held in the current semester and the internal assessment tests (or minors).

Read: In prison, Hyderabad varsity students, professors keep ‘classes’ on

"I solicit everyone's cooperation in resuming the academic activities in full swing from today to ensure that the end-semester examinations are completed as per the schedule," Appa Rao said.

Meanwhile, the bail application of 25 students and two faculty members who were arrested after March 22 violence will come up for hearing today.

A group of students, who were opposing Appa Rao's return as the Vice Chancellor after a two-month leave following the row over Vemula's suicide, had allegedly vandalised the VC's official residence and pelted stones on police.

Later, the police lathi charged them and arrested the 25 students, besides the two faculty members.

Read: Global scholars for recall of University of Hyderabad V-C Appa Rao Podile

On March 23, the HCU authorities announced suspension of classes for four days from March 23 to 26 in view of the situation prevailing on the campus.

The protesting students had demanded that the VC be arrested immediately as he was one of the accused in the case of Vemula's alleged suicide on January 17.

The JAC has demanded dropping of all charges against students, faculty members at HCU and elsewhere in the country and immediate removal and arrest of Appa Rao.

Read: Rohith’s suicide issue raised during UN rights meet

Its other demands include "demilitarisation of the campus, action against police for the unnecessary and targeted violence, false detention, misinformation about the detained people and physical and sexual assault on women students and faculty, and introduction of Rohith Act," according to JAC's press release.

Meanwhile, the HCU has constituted a seven-member committee to hold dialogue with the agitating students to restore normalcy on the campus.

The panel would discuss with student representatives the matters that are negotiable from the list of demands submitted by them to the university, an HCU release said here.

The committee would ask the JAC and the students' union to nominate two members each before starting the dialogue to break the existing impasse.

The committee, chaired by Prof B Kamaiah, Dean, School of Economics, and comprising six other members from different departments of HCU, shall submit its report within six weeks.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle with agency inputs )
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