Protesting against the “unprecedented situation” prevailing on the Hyderabad Central University campus, nearly 50 SC/ST faculty forum members on Tuesday went on a one-day mass casual leave even as varsity authorities said the classes were functioning normally.
About 50 faculty members of the Hyderabad Central University (HCU) went on a mass casual leave in protest against the “unprecedented situation” prevailing on the campus arising out of a series of “human rights violations”, following the protests by students on 22 March (the day vice-chancellor Appa Rao Podile resumed his duty), said a release from convener, SC/ST Faculty Forum and Concerned Teachers.
However, HCU registrar M.Sudhakar said, “Classes are going on…they are functioning normally.”
On the one-day mass leave call given by some faculty members, the registrar said, “We have not officially received any letter from them.” “The police resorted to an unwarranted and disproportionate show of force on the protesting students and neutral bystanders. Many students and two faculty members have been arrested and there is the threat of more arrests. An unwarranted beating up of the protesters continued even after their arrests,” the release said.
“Against all this and against continued denial of justice to Rohith Vemula and other suspended students, we, the SC/ST Faculty Forum and concerned faculty members of the University of Hyderabad, are going on a mass casual leave today,” it said.
The Joint Action Committee for Social Justice of HCU appealed to the students to use blue ribbons as a means of protest, declaration and reminder of the fact that “our fight is still on” while going about classes, labs and other activities.
“We appeal to the students, faculty of University of Hyderabad, to resume their academic activities and classes alongside the protests,” the JAC said.
It also demanded the HCU administration to drop all charges and withdraw all cases filed against the students and faculty members. They further demanded immediate removal and arrest of Appa Rao under Prevention of Atrocities Act and demilitarisation of the campus and introduction of Rohith Act.
A local court had on Monday granted bail to 25 students and two faculty members of HCU arrested in connection with violence on the campus on 22 March.