HYDERABAD: Nearly two years after Dalit research scholar Rohit Vemula and his friends were subjected to disciplinary action by the University of Hyderabad administration, which subsequently escalated to the former ending his life, the varsity on Wednesday suspended 10 students including two women students “with immediate effect” on charges of misconduct, physical and verbal assault on its officials.
While three, including a PhD scholar, have been suspended for two years, seven others have been suspended for six months from academic programmes and hostels.The decision was based on the recommendations of a committee constituted on an incident that occurred on November 3 at the MH-J Hostel.The inquiry panel found Pratyush Nirjher, Atira Unni V (MA-sociology) and Sagnik Saha (PhD-history) guilty of “refusing to comply with rules, preventing officials from discharging their duties and indulging in verbal assault”, for which they were suspended for two years.
Tinanjali Dam, a representative of the Gender Sensitization Committee Against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH), along with six other students, was suspended for six months.The Students’ Union condemned the suspension order and called it “unfair”. “There was no representative from the the student community on the panel and it is against the rules. Therefore, we demand that the suspension order should be revoked with immediate effect,” said Seerag P, president of the Students’ Union.
On November 3, the wardens and security staff raided J-Hostel, a men’s hostel, and found a woman student in one of the rooms late in the night. According to university rules, girls are not allowed into the men’s hostel. The matter soon escalated and police had to be called in. On November 4, an inquiry committee was set up and it submitted its report on November 6 .
The report held students guilty on charges of unauthorised entry of outsiders into the hostel room, refusal to show identity cards, switching off lights, sloganeering against the wardens, physical intimidation, verbal assault and preventing officials from discharging their duties among other charges.
At the same time, the committee also appreciated some students who timely intervened and defused the situation. They were given letters of appreciation.
The Students’ Union will give a representation condemning the action on Thursday. President of Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) students union, Attaullah Niazi, condemned the action of UoH, terming it as unjust, completely lacking in democratic essence while dealing with students and misuse of power.If U0H administration didn’t revoke its decision, it would have to witness a mass agitation against institutional injustice towards fellow students of UoH, he warned.