SITARAM YECHURY | 23 MARCH, 2016
NEW DELHI: Shri Chandrasekar Rao Garu,
I have tried in vain to contact you over telephone the whole day today. Several messages have been left with your staff, but there has been no response. Having thus failed, I am writing this letter.
I am writing this letter with a sense of anguish and anger. I am particularly agonized at writing this letter to you on the martyrdom day of Shahid Bhagat Singh.
The brutal police attack against students and other sections of the academic community in the Hyderabad Central University yesterday has been followed up by another round of attack today. Continuing the manner with which the students were dealt with by the Telangana police yesterday, the police today have reportedly mounted yet another attack inside the campus. The manner in which the girl students were attacked by the male police with the liberal usage of foul language against them is reprehensible.
Following the stoppage of water connection, access to wifi, food supplies to the hostel messes, the students themselves organized the preparation of food for the hostel inmates. Today, all these facilities were attacked by the police and the Vice Chancellor has reportedly shut down the hostels.
Most of us in the country are aghast at the manner in which such brutal assault is mounted on the university community by the Telangana police in one of the premier Central universities of our country.
The Vice Chancellor who proceeded on leave following the tragic suicide of Rohith Vemula was booked under charges of aiding and abetting this suicide by creating the circumstances leading to this tragedy. Instead of proceeding against the Vice Chancellor on this case, the Telangana police has resorted to such brutality against the students.
The students were protesting against the return of this Vice Chancellor and demanding that the case against him must be proceeded with. It is clear that the police action under the sanction of the state government was to facilitate the return of this Vice Chancellor.
Further, we are informed that the first decision taken by the Vice Chancellor upon the return was to defer the meeting of the Academic Council on Thursday (March 24), which was convened by the in-charge Vice Chancellor to discuss the setting up of an anti-discrimination committee on the campus, to ensure adequate representation of SCs and STs on various committees of the university and to consider the proposal to increase the non-NET fellowship from Rs. 8,000 to Rs. 25,000 per month on parity with the Junior Research Fellowship in the country. The in-charge Vice Chancellor has reportedly pleaded that he had no knowledge of the Vice Chancellor returning to assume charge of the university.
The Telangana government, under your stewardship, has been vocal in announcing that it champions the interests of the overwhelming bulk of the state's population that comes from SC/ST and various Other Backward Classes and the marginalized sections. Surely, your government and administration cannot concur with these latest decisions of this Vice Chancellor. Yet, it is the Telangana police, under the remit of your government, that has spearheaded this brutal attack against the university and the students. This has happened as the university community continues to remain traumatized over the tragic suicide of Rohith Vemula and the circumstances created on the campus leading to such a tragedy.
Instead of proceeding, I repeat, against the Vice Chancellor on the basis of the case registered against him, your government has discharged this responsibility of mounting this attack against this university community. It is being reported in the media that 28 students, who are victims of this brutal lathicharge, have now been remanded into custody and lodged at the Central Jail.
In the fitness of living up to your own proclamations and assurances, the arrested students must be released immediately and the cases against them must be dropped. The Telangana police must immediately proceed on the registered cases against the Vice Chancellor. As this is a Central University, we are demanding of the Central Government that their appointed Vice Chancellor be removed forthwith.
General Secretary, CPI(M)
(Image credit: Abu Saleh)