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UoH issues clarification on Rohit Vemula’s suicide

University-of-Hyderabad

The University of Hyderabad has offered its deepest sympathies and condolences for the unfortunate demise of Rohit Vemula, one of the students suspended from the hostel.

In a media statements, the UoH informed that in the month of August, there was a fight involving students of the Ambedkar Students’ Association (ASA) and a functionary (Susheel Kumar) of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) which eventually reached the court. With regard to this incident, the Proctorial Board of the University was asked to submit a report with suggestions of the quantum of punishment following which five students were suspended. The students of ASA then claimed lapses in the inquiry by the Proctorial Board and the then VC, Prof. R.P. Sharma, obliging to their concerns, held a Deans and Heads meeting which debated the merits of the Proctorial Board’s decision and eventually, the VC had revoked the suspension pending review by the newly formed Prof. Sudhakar Reddy’s Committee.

The committee members expressed their lack of power to review a decision by a statutory body like the Proctorial board and further suggested that the then VC, Prof. R.P. Sharma, convene an Executive Council meeting to look into the same. Meanwhile the matter was taken to the court by Susheel Kumar’s mother.

It was around this time that Prof. Appa Rao came in as the Vice Chancellor, and after almost a month of him assuming the office, the court ruled that the University should implement the Proctorial Board’s decision before filing a counter. Under these circumstances, the present VC constituted an EC sub-committee chaired by Prof. Vipin Srivastava. This was in view of the previous decision by the Prof. Sudhakar Reddy committee. The EC sub-committee, to get better light of the incident, co-opted Prof. Prakash Babu, in capacity of DSW and involved Dr. Nagaraju, in capacity of Chief Warden and Prof. Alok Pandey, in capacity of Chief Proctor, as they were continuously involved with the case.

In adherence to the court, the Executive Council, determined not to affect the students’ academics and taking a lenient view, decided to only suspend the students from their hostels and curb their involvement in public gatherings unlike complete suspension as suggested in the Proctorial Board report. This decision was conveyed to the court and the administration awaited the court’s decision which is due on the 19th January.

“The University had used possible mechanisms to address the problem and meanwhile the matter has become sub-judice where the University’s hands were tied both ways,” the UoH management said.

The Vice Chancellor pleaded the student JAC to understand the University’s difficulties and asked the students to wait for the court opinion that would be known on Tuesday. Unfortunately, the incident occurred even before the court verdict, leaving the University in a state of extreme shock and sadness. (INN)

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