HYDERABAD: Police turned the University of Hyderabad (UoH) into a fortress on Wednesday stopping Jawaharlal Nehru University’s Students’ Union (JNUSU) president Kanhaiya Kumar from entering the campus. Though hundreds of students were anxiously waiting to meet the fire-brand students’ leader, they were disappointed as police stopped the car carrying Kanhaiya from entering the campus. Tension prevailed as he was not even allowed to step out of the car.
Refusing to budge, Kanhaiya delivered a high-voltage speech from the car and took on the Centre alleging that the sedition case against him and his fellow students was a deliberate act to divert attention from the suicide of Rohith Vemula.
He vowed to take forward the fight to ensure justice for Rohith and stressed on the need to question the prevailing system in universities across the country. Kanhaiya, who is out on an interim bail after being sent to jail earlier on charges of sedition, arrived at the gate of UoH amidst sloganeering by student supporters. As police prevented him from entering the campus, Kanhaiya addressed media persons standing on the foot board of the vehicle, for around five minutes and then hurried away from the campus gate.
Heavy police deployment was made on UoH premises after vice-chancellor P Appa Rao assumed office as V-C. In the wake of Kanhaiya Kumar’s visit, the V-C had issued orders prohibiting outsiders, including media, from entering the campus. Police maintained tight vigil to stop protests following Tuesday’s attack on V-C’s bungalow.
The student leader, who landed in the city earlier in the day, went straight away to CR Foundation in Kondapur where he met the family members of Rohith Vemula.
Addressing media persons after meeting Rohith’s family, he alleged that it was V-C Appa Rao’s insensitivity that forced Rohith to end his life.
He accused Union ministers Bandaru Dattatreya and Smriti Irani of cracking down on JNU students to divert attention from the struggle for justice to Rohith. “From my fellow students I came to know that the V-C has said that I have no permission to enter UoH. When he himself is ineligible to be on the campus, how can he stop me?” Kanhaiya asked asking, ‘’Through my sources, I came to know that the supporters of V-C are the one’s who resorted to violence on Tuesday. I condemn the lathi charge on students.”
He said that Rohith Vemula’s mother is like his mother and opined that the plight of Rohith should not befall anyone in future..
He highlighted the fact that it is his first visit to any other place after he was released from the jail and said that his future course of action will be decided after meeting the students at UoH. “There is a need to question the prevailing system on the campuses across the country, the autonomy of university is a threat and students across the country should unite to fight against this system,” he said. He demanded that the government should introduce the Rohith Act.
25 Students, 2 Faculty Remanded
Gachibowli police produced 25 students and two faculty members of the University of Hyderabad before court and remanded them to judicial custody after they were arrested in connection with the ruckus created at the varsity Vice-Chancellor’s lodge on the campus on Tuesday. Hostel messes on UoH premises remained closed for the second consecutive day as varsity’s non-teaching staff went on a strike, protesting attacks.