Hyderabad: Students' Union of University of Hyderabad (UoHSU) on Wednesday sought President Pranab Mukherjee's immediate intervention to resolve issues related to the varsity, that is in limelight post-suicide by a Dalit scholar, and ensure sacking of Vice-Chancellor Appa Rao Podile.
UoHSU President Zuhail K P shot off a letter to Mukherjee drawing his attention to prevailing "tension" in the campus and alleged lapses of the Rao-led administration in handling the suicide case of Dalit research scholar Rohit Vemula in January.
"We would like to inform about the prevailing tension in the campus. Prof Appa Rao Podile is an accused in the case of Rohit Vemula's suicide. The two-member fact finding committee appointed by the MHRD to investigate the disciplinary action on five Dalit research scholars (including Rohit), which led to the suicide of Rohit, pointed out that the university administration under VC Appa Rao has mishandled the case," Zuhail said in the letter.
The report pointed out several gaps in the procedures followed by the VC in deciding the punishment (against students). Moreover, Appa Rao has been booked under the SC/ST (Prevent of Atrocities) Act and for abetment to suicide, Zuhail said.
The High Court did not grant him bail or any other interim relief till date. The Judicial Commission formed to ascertain the facts of this case is still probing the matter.
Rao, instead of waiting for the Commission's report, "showed utter contempt" to the judicial process by cancelling his leave and resuming office on 22 March, Zuhail said.
On 22 March, the students, upon learning that Rao was back from leave, marched to his residence and protested against his resumption of office, arguing as VC he may tamper with evidence and influence witnesses.
"Hence, the students demanded that he must stay away for a free and fair inquiry in the case. But he misused the powers of office of Vice Chancellor and unleashed brutal violence on the protesting students," Zuhail alleged.
"Until now his involvement in the case of Rohit Vemula was the reason for us to demand his resignation. Now his treatment of the students after resuming office and creating panic, chaos and destructive environment in campus put a question mark on his capability to administer the university."
"We request your immediate intervention as the Visitor of University of Hyderabad to sack Appa Rao from the post of Vice-Chancellor and restore peace in the university and prevent further damage to its image," Zuhail said in the letter.
Here is a copy of the full letter: