Hyderabad: JNU student leader Kanhaiya Kumar was on Wednesday denied entry into University of Hyderabad which witnessed unprecedented clampdown amid continuing tension over the return of P. Appa Rao as the vice chancellor.
Police stopped Kanhaiya Kumar in the evening when he along with others reached the central university to address protesting students on the campus. Since the university authorities barred the entry of outsiders, police stopped Kanhaiya’s convoy and asked him to go back. Talking to reporters, the Jawaharlal Nehru University student leader said a student was not being allowed on the campus. He said such actions by police and the government can’t suppress their voice.
“I want to tell the university administration and police who have prohibited us from entering the campus that you can’t suppress our voice,” he said. “It is shameful that a student is not being allowed on the campus.
It is unfortunate the government is not listening to voice of students,” said Kanahiya. He condemned the police ‘lathi’ (baton) charge on students of Hyderabad university on Tuesday when they were staging a protest on the campus. Expressing solidarity with the injured, he said “lathis can’t silence our voice”. “This fight will continue. This fight is to save the country, the Constitution and the democracy,” he said.
Kanhaiya Kumar, who was arrested last month on charges of sedition, said they were fighting for freedom from casteism, inequality and injustice. “Our fight will continue till the dreams of Rohith Vemula, B.R. Ambedkar and Bhagat Singh are realised,” he said, demanding enactment of what he called ‘Rohith legislation’ to ensure social justice on campuses.
Kanhaiya Kumar and his supporters raised slogans like “Tum kitney Rohith marogey. Har ghar sey Rohith niklega” (How many Rohiths will you kill? A Rohith will come from each house).
He vowed to continue the fight for justice to the family of Rohith, the Dalit research scholar who committed suicide on January 17. Earlier, the JNU student leader met Rohith’s mother Radhika and consoled her.
The sprawling campus of the university remained on boil for the second consecutive day as police and paramilitary forces were deployed to prevent outsiders from entering the campus. Media persons too were not allowed.
The crackdown was unprecedented as university authorities suspended classes till Saturday. The mess was closed and water supply was cut to the hostels, causing severe inconvenience to students.
The authorities also snapped internet connection on Tuesday. Student groups condemned what they said was “police brutality” and “sexual assault” on students protesting against the vice chancellor. Appa Rao went on leave after he was named in a case registered in connection with the suicide of Vemula in January.
He resumed duties on Tuesday, against which the students were protesting. The Joint Action Committee (JAC) for Social Justice, an umbrella grouping of various student bodies, has given a call for boycott of classes for four days.
The JAC said an emergency like situation has been imposed on the campus with the authorities shutting down mess, water and internet connection. In a statement on Wednesday, the JAC alleged that police, Rapid Action Force (RAF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and other security personnel unleashed brutal physical and sexual assault on students and teachers on Tuesday.
It alleged that the security personnel not only beat up men and women students but hurled abuses, branded them “anti-nationals” and threatened to file sedition charges.
It said 36 students and three professors were picked up, brutally beaten in a police van, and detained in unknown locations all night. It demanded their immediate release. The CPI-M demanded the release of arrested students and the dismissal of the vice chancellor.
Stating that over 30 students were in police custody with no knowledge as to where they were being kept, the Communist Party of India-Marxist said they must be freed immediately.