Hyderabad Univ. interim VC calls for ‘talks’ to improve situation

Newly appointed Hyderabad University Vice Chancellor Vipin Srivastava on Sunday said that the tense situation of protests surrounding the suicide of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula, can improve only through talks.

“The situation is still very hot and I will take the help of my colleagues. The current situation can only improve through talks,” Srivastava told ANI.

“The Vice Chancellor has gone on leave. According to statutes, the senior most professor takes over as the Vice Chancellor. So, I am officiating until Professor Appa Rao comes back,” he added.

In a fresh development in the case of Vemula’s suicide, the University of Hyderabad Vice Chancellor Appa Rao Podile, whose resignation is being sought by the protesting students, has gone on leave.

A note on their official website said: The Vice-Chancellor will be on leave. In the absence of the Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Vipin Srivastava, the senior most Professor, shall perform the duties of the Vice-Chancellor w.e.f. 24-01-2016 (F.N.).

Rao was under fire for his handling of the suspension of the five Dalit students, one of whom, Rohith Vemula, committed suicide on January 17.

Demanding the Vice Chancellor’s resignation, the students continued their protest on the campus.

On Thursday, the university revoked the suspension of Rohith’s comrades, hours after many Dalit teachers resigned accusing Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani of distorting the facts related to the suicide.