UoH VC assassination plot: Students refute cops’ narrative, claim no role of duo in plot
While the ABVP blamed the university professors for spreading Maoist ideology on campus, the Students Union did not comment on the issue and said that they were awaiting more clarity on the issue.
HYDERABAD: As the news of arrest of two former University of Hyderabad(UoH) students by Andhra police alleging that they joined hands with Maoists to assassinate UoH Vice Chancellor Prof Appa Rao Podile trickled in, Express spoke with various present and former students from the university who knew the students in various capacities —as classmates, acquaintance and close friends. All of them echoed some similar sentiments. They said that the two students—Chandan Kumar Mishra and Ankala Prudviraj—were inclined to leftist ideology, they did not have many friends or did not move in group of friends on campus. They shared that Mishra was not as active as others who participated in the protests after suicide of Dalit PhD scholar Rohith Vemula whereas Prudviraj was not a student on campus then.
Prudviraj who took admission in 2010 batch for integrated masters course in political science became Mishra’s classmate when the latter joined the university in 2013 for post graduation. As per media release by AP police, Prudviraj was arrested once earlier in 2013 for assisting wife of a Maoist leader following which he was released on bail. After his arrest, Prudviraj dropped out of his course. As per the UoH document available online dated March 9, 2016, Mishra’s admission was cancelled for M.Phil in political science and another document from the same date said that he had not submitted his qualifying certificates.
A student who knew both of them said, “Mishra could be seen a few times during protests after Rohith Vemula’s suicide but did not actively participate in the protests much. He had only selective friends. I do not, however, believe that they were plotting to kill the VC.”A member of Telangana Vidyarthi Vedika with whom Prudviraj was initially associated with when he was in UoH said, “Even though Prudviraj was from coastal Andhra Pradesh, he very actively participated in the Telangana agitation. He fought for labour rights of workers in the university campus many times.” He too added that he did not believe in the police narrative that the two former students were plotting to kill the VC.
AP police said that in its media release that Mishra and Prudviraj met in 2016 after Rohith Vemula’s suicide, which was confirmed by one of the members from the university who knew both of them. In the most recent public post of Mishra on Facebook, he criticised the Marxists for implementing neo-liberal policies and blamed revisionist policies of CPI(M) for demolition of Lenin’s statue.
ABVP blames professors, student organisations remain silent
National Executive Council member of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad(ABVP) and ABVP leader in UoH, Kaluram Palsaniya posted on Facebook blaming university professors for spreading Maoist ideology on campus and stated that the activities of such professors should be monitored. Speaking to Express, a ABVP leader from university alleged that the reason behind Mishra’s actions is handful of professors on campus who brainwash students into a particular political ideology However, student leaders belonging to Students Federation of India(SFI) and Ambedkar Students Association(ASA) who have members in the Students Union did not comment on the issue and said that they were awaiting more clarity on the issue
The campus remained quiet on Saturday, however, some students said that the security checks at the entrance of university were intensified
However, the phone of Vice-Chancellor Podile Appa Rao on Saturday remained switched off. When contacted, Prof Vinod Pavarala, official spokesperson of UoH said, “Police have informed about the arrests. It is a sensitive issue.” When asked if the VC Prof Appa Rao has asked for any protection, Prof Pavarala said that there has been no such development