Hyderabad: Facing students' protests over the death of Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula, Hyderabad Central University Vice-Chancellor Appa Rao Podile on Sunday proceeded on leave, saying he was "advised to be away from campus" to break the current "impasse".
"The Vice-Chancellor will be on leave. In the absence of the Vice-Chancellor, Vipin Srivastava, the seniormost professor, shall perform the duties of the vice-chancellor with effect from 24-01-2016," the HCU said on its website.
However, it did not mention the period of leave.
The development came a day before the 'Chalo HCU' protest march called by agitating students to press for their demands, which included removal of the VC from his post, in the wake of the suicide by Rohith.
When contacted, Podile confirmed the development and said there was no pressure on him to go on leave.
"There is no pressure from anybody. It is my concern for my University. We want to resolve the issue now. There is an impasse now and to break that impasse we need to have some mechanism where I am advised to be a little away from campus and somebody has to be there to be in command. We have a provision to ask a senior professor to be in-charge and that's what we have done," he said.
Asked whether he would take charge once normalcy returns in the university, he replied in the affirmative.
Meanwhile, a section of the university administration opposed the decision to appoint Srivastava as officiating Vice -Chancellor and expressed "shock" over the move. It also expressed disappointment over Podile not being dismissed.
The SC/ST Faculty Forum and SC/ST Officers Forum alleged that Srivastava was one of the "accused" in the suicide of another Dalit student, Senthil, in 2008.