- We, the undersigned, unequivocally condemn police action in and around University of Hyderabad, from the 22 of March onwards. We criticize extreme police brutality, lathi charge, threats of rape and verbal abuse done to the students and faculty members of UoH.
- We demand to know the whereabouts of the faculty members and students who were made to disappear on the 22nd March. We condemn the false charges under which they are rumoured to have been booked. We condemn the police attack on students preparing food, the detaining of students for ‘cooking in a public space’ and the insinuation that they had to be taught a lesson because they might have been cooking beef!
- We condemn the UoH administration’s cutting off of water, electricity, internet and food to the campus residents. Nothing, no trumped up charge merits this kind of denial of basic necessities, and this action taken by the administration and aided by the police is CASTEISM, whereby the authorities feel justified to ‘teaching’ dissenting voices a lesson, in the manner of feudal upper caste landlords.
- We demand a response from the Telangana state government, which has supplied police to meet the nefarious demands of tainted and on-leave VC Appa Rao. A government which was formed on the demands of equality of the disadvantaged sections of society must hang its head in shame due to its complicity with the casteist UoH admin.
- VC Appa Rao Podile assumed office on the 22nd of March even though he has been booked under the SC ST Atrocities Act. Instead of arresting him, the police aided him in postponing the Academic Council meeting and shutting down university amenities. Appa Rao must go! The judicial probe and the MHRD probe against him be concluded impartially and at the earliest, and those responsible for Rohith Vemula’s institutional murder punished.
- We also condemn the national media’s silence over this state of emergency imposed on UoH, demand that the UoH community’s voice be heard and adequately represented, as the gravity of the situation merits. This media blackout reeks of casteism and complicity with Hindtutva forces, and must be resisted by all means.
- Casteism is the most deeply entrenched reality of modern India. Our public spaces, universities, and academia are as much a part of it, as our institutions of marriage, dining and religion. We urge the academic community in India and abroad to support UoH in its fight against casteism and fascism in the same manner in which it has supported elite institutions in the past.
Continue reading Statement in Solidarity with the ongoing movement at University of Hyderabad