In an ugly, partisan decision reminiscent of the rustication of 12 Dalit students in the year 2002 (all members of Ambedkar Students’ Association), the University of Hyderabad administration suspended five Dalit student members of Ambedkar Students’ Association (again) yesterday – Dontha Prashanth (Ph.D student in Economics), Rohith Vemula (PhD – Sociology), Sunkanna Velpula (PhD – Philosophy), Vijay Kumar P Sundar (PhD – Political Science) and Seshu Chemudugunta (PhD – CSSEIP) – for one whole semester based on totally false and baseless charges (as explained in the statement from ASA below). The University administration has been taking an increasingly Manuwadi position in recent weeks (please read this recent article on how Hindutva elements in the University, with tacit support of the administration, have been intimidating students from marginalised backgrounds) – this arbitrary action of 9th September marks the complete surrender of UoH before the ruling Brahminical dispensation. Condemn this Manuwadi tyranny in our universities!
Intensify protests until they revoke the suspension!
University of Hyderabad administration has yet again employed its standard technique of suppressing student voices. Following a successful UGBM organized on 8th September which delivered a unanimous mandate for a police free campus, five Dalit student members of Ambedkar Students’ Association have been suspended with immediate effect (on 9th September), for one whole semester. On the other hand, the ABVP president Susheel Kumar has just got a “warning” letter. This is in the behest of the false charges filed on three Dalits (those of who are suspended) by ABVP president Susheel Kumar. The proctorial board has released the report that states the following:
1. “The board could not get any hard evidence of beating Mr. Susheel kumar either from Krishna Chaitanya or from the reports submitted by Dr.Anupama. Dr.Anupama’s report also could not link or suggest that the surgery of Susheel Kumar is the direct result of beating.”
2. “According to DSO, Dilip Singh, who was the first to reach to the spot, he told that he didn’t witness any beating of Susheel Kumar during his presence.”
3. “Susheel Kumar was not present for deposition nor could he submit any letter or medical report from his current hospital.”
4. “Krishna Chaitanya could not present any hard evidence of Susheel Kumar’s beating in the support of his letter.”
The decision taken by the proctorial board are the following:
1. “Complete suspension from university- from classes or courses, hostels and other relevant/connected things a student gets from university, with immediate effect, for ongoing/current semester.”
2. “A strong warning to be issued to Susheel Kumar for posting such comments on facebook.”
The report clearly shows that the five Dalit students are not held responsible for the cases registered against them. The suspension of five Dalit students is yet another example displaying the nexus between university administration and the right wing forces inside and outside the campus. Students condemn this yet another atrocious attack on students from marginalized sections. Students reject the biased decision taken by the proctorial board (supported by registrar and vice chancellor). Students have gheraoed registrar’s office. Students have placed one straight demand to the registrar: revoke suspension on five Dalit students. Protesting students have decided to sit in registrar’s office until suspension is revoked on the five Dalit students. Vice chancellor has come to the registrar’s office. He refuses to talk to us. Students have informed the university authorities that if they fail to revoke suspension, students will do mass cancellation of their admission in University of Hyderabad.
~ Ambedkar Students Association, University of Hyderabad