JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar was today denied permission to address a meeting in the Hyderabad Central University(HCU) amid escalating protests over resumption of duty by controversial Vice Chancellor Appa Rao Podile.
In a clamp down, the authorities also barred outsiders including political leaders and mediapersons from entering the campus and suspended classes for four days.
Kanhaiya, on his arrival here, told reporters that the Joint Action Committee for Social Justice of HCU will continue with its struggle until the Centre brings out ‘Rohith Act’.
The JNU students union leaader was scheduled to address a meeting on the campus this evening at the invitation of the JAC for Social Justice, which had spearheaded an agitation demanding “justice” for Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula, who committed suicide in a hostel room at HCU on January 17.
However, the VC said the university has not granted any permission to Kanhaiya for this.
“No body has approached for permission. Definitely, there is no permission,” he told PTI.
As tension mounted in HCU following the resumption of duty by Rao, the authorities barred outsiders from entering the campus and suspended classes for four days.
“In view of the situation, classes are suspended from March 23 to 26. We have taken a decision not to allow any outsider, including mediapersons and political parties, on the campus,” Registrar M Sudhakar said when asked about the visit of Kanhaiya.
Police said additional forces have been deployed on the campus as a precautionary measure and pickets set up around Podile’s official residence, which was vandalised yesterday allegedly by a group of students who were opposing his return as VC after a two-month leave.
“The situation is peaceful. Forces have been deployed to maintain law and order,” Joint Commissioner of Cyberabad Police TV Sashidhar Reddy said.
Podile, in the eye of a storm over Vemula’s suicide,
had proceeded on leave on January 24 as the agitating students demanded his resignation and held vigorous protests seeking “justice” for the Dalit student.
Kanhaiya, who landed at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport here at around 11 AM, told reporters that, “I will first meet Rohith Vemula’s mother Radhika and his brother Raja. JAC has invited me to address a public meeting on HCU campus…If police allows me then I will definitely go to HCU and address the students.”
“We have experience with JAC for various struggles and we will take this fight forward…This struggle will continue until ‘Rohith Act’ is implemented…To fulfil his (Rohith’s) dreams of social justice on the campus,” he said.
Rohith’s mother and brother had last month met political leaders, including Sonia Gandhi, Sitaram Yechuri and KC Tyagi, seeking their support for enactment of a ‘Rohith Act’ against caste discrimination in educational institutions.
When the VC was asked if he gets a feeling that the suicide issue is being politicised, Podile said he did not think so, adding, that he did not attach any significance to Kumar’s visit as “we have nothing to do with that boy”.
“As far as our campus is concerned, I don’t see same kind of polarisation. We are all one. We are going to work towards solution. There is no politicisation at this time.”
Asked if he believed a small group of students were holding the university for ransom, Podile said, “Anybody who moves around the campus will get that same feeling.