HYDERABAD: Family members of arrested students of University of Hyderabad, who are lodged in Cherlapally Central Prison for the last five days, blamed vice- chancellor (V-C) P Appa Rao for the incidents that occurred at V-C’s lodge on March 22. Accusing the university of dealing with the situation without responsibility, they said that those students who actively participated in the protests were being targeted and picked up by police.
Among the arrested students, some are from Kerala, Punjab and other states. After Appa Rao assumed office as vice-chancellor on March 22, the official residence of the V-C was vandalised by protesting students, which led to police action.
Police arrested 25 students and two professors on charges of vandalism and stone pelting and named a few others, who are absconding.
Family members, friends and others said they scouted in vain to meet the students in various police stations till late night of March 22. Parents of some of the students who live in other states, were more worried. They were partially relieved as they came to know that all the students and professors were lodged in Cherlapally Central Prison.
Sunandan, whose nephew Deepak Sudhevan is one among the arrested students, said Appa Rao wanted to disturb the peace on the campus. An assistant professor at Azim Premji University, Bengaluru, Sunandan said at a press conference here on Sunday that the ways of the university are irresponsible. “The way the university is dealing with the situation is totally irresponsible. The V-C should not have come back. I am here to meet advocates and student leaders,” he said.
Sumel Singh, whose brother Avter Singh is arrested, said family members were not allowed into the university. He urged families of other detainees to understand the reasons for the protests taken up by students.
Sumel Singh also alleged that students who were previously active in protests were targeted and that police had tortured the arrested students in vans while shifting from one police station to another.
Noam Chomsky Signs Plea against Detention
More than 300 academicians, writers, artists, and social activists, including famed social critic Noam Chomsky, signed a petition condemning state violence, and ‘unlawful’ detention of students and faculty of University of Hyderabad. In a petition, academicians from prominent universities and institutes across the country and abroad, said that the staff and students who were holding a peaceful protest, were brutally lathi-charged by the police, and 27 people were taken into custody. Stating that suicides by Dalit students have been recurring across the country, they demanded passage of Rohith Act against caste discrimination in education, action against police personnel named by students and suspension of VC P Appa Rao.