About 200 students of Hyderabad University ransacked the office and the residence of the university Vice-Chancellor Professor Appa Rao Podile, after he reached the campus, which has been on the boil since Rohith Vemula hanged himself on January 17.
According to sources, the students were protesting and demanding justice for the Dalit scholar. Podile had gone on leave on January 24, a week after Vemula’s sucide. In the first information report (FIR) filed in the case, he was named as one of the people responsible for Vemula’s death.
In August last year, Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya had written to Irani alleging that the HCU had become “a den of casteist, extremist and anti-national politics”. Citing the attack on the ABVP, he had said that the university administration had turned into “a mute spectator to such events”.
According to newspaper reports, students are blaming the “dictatorship of the union government” in allowing Rao to resume his duties. M Periasamy had taken over Rao’s responsibilities in his absence, after interim VC Dr Vipin Srivastava went on leave just hours before Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi reached the university.
The attack took place when Rao called a media conference after arriving at the guesthouse in the campus.
The protesting students smashed furniture, computers, and vandalized offices. Glass panes were smashed, shelves were pulled down, and other articles were also damaged. The students who got wind of his release, first attacked his house and then prevented the media conference from proceeding any further. Police arrived and brought the situation under control. Students also raised ‘Azadi’ slogans.
This comes a day before the visit of JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar at Hyderabad Central University.