The following is a Press Release from the SC/ST Faculty Forum and Concerned Teachers on the state of affairs in the University, especially since the peculiar, staged incidents, surrounding the return of the former Vice Chancellor
We express our extreme displeasure at Prof. Appa Rao resuming office without information given even to the incharge Vice-Chancellor. Prof. Appa Rao has returned to the office when he has not yet been exonerated either by the court or by the Judicial Enquiry instituted by the MHRD based on the two member committee report which took into cognizance the very serious concerns raised by the students and the teaching fraternity.
The time period of the judicial probe is not completed and the commission has until April 30th 2016 to submit its report. In order for a fair probe to be carried on, it was not expected that Prof. Appa Rao returns to the office till he was cleared of charges. We are shocked at the manner in which Prof. Appa Rao rejoined the office. From the documents available, it can be noted that a sequence of actions to be carried out by specific individuals that include some specific sections of students, teachers and non-teaching staff and also police personnel was prepared to be implemented. For example:
- “Receiving” Prof. Appa Rao near Gachibowli Stadium at 8am on 22nd March 2016.
- “Greeting” of Prof. Appa Rao by the Life Sciences Students at the VC’s lodge upon his arrival.
- “Request the support” of police
At the time when students arrived in the morning at the VC’s lodge to protest against Prof. Appa Rao taking charge, there were already several members of the University community inside the premises who we are told were shouting slogans. We are given to understand that damage to some property was carried out inside the premises and sympathize with members feeling a sense of fear and panic at the display of anger. We would like it to be known that only one section of students are held responsible for this incident. We demand a thorough independent enquiry especially into this entire incident.
We condemn the brutal attack by the police in the evening on the peacefully protesting students. We strongly condemn the arrest of more than thirty students and two of our faculty colleagues. It is extremely unfortunate that basic facilities such as hostel messes, water, electricity and internet facilities have been shut down and the students are denied their fundamental human needs. Such actions on part of administration are deeply deplorable.
After Rohith Vemula’s death, the past two months have seen a very difficult and carefully worked out process of healing on the campus which is ongoing. Prof. Appa Rao’s entry has completely set this back hurting the ongoing institutional process of repair and derailed the academic activity on campus. The suspension of classes from 23-03-2016 and postponement of Academic Council Meeting has severely harmed the smooth progress of academic schedule and the academic prospect of the final year students.
- The safe return of the all arrested faculty and students without delay and that no charges be brought against them.
- That the police be immediately asked to leave the campus in the interest of the University.
- The immediate resumption of all the basic needs of students that are presently suspended.
SC/ST Faculty Forum and Concerned Teachers