Classes resumed in Hyderabad Central University 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,” said HCU registrar M Sudhakar.
Nearly 400 students today are boycotting classes in response to a call by those leading the Joint Action Committee, which has representatives of student groups that say the Vice Chancellor’s removal is among their list of urgent demands. A month before Mr Vemula killed himself, he wrote a letter to Mr Rao, plaintively describing insidious caste discrimination. Students say instead of helping him out, the official went ahead with suspending Mr Vemula for allegedly assaulting members of a rival student group affiliated to the BJP.
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.
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 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.
“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).
“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.
The students should think only about their career, studies, classes, minor examinations and semester examinations, and should not be deterred by any advice or persuasion to the contrary, the VC said.
“You will get all possible support from me and your teachers in this regard,” he added.
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.
Appa Rao had proceeded on leave on January 24 as the agitating students demanded his resignation and held vigorous protests seeking “justice” for the Dalit student.