Hyderabad varsity students get bail, to be released Tuesday

Hyderabad: A court here on Monday granted bail to 25 students and two faculty members of University of Hyderabad even as protest continued on campus and Vice Chancellor P Appa Rao appealed to agitating students to rise above anger and confrontation.

The students and faculty members, arrested last week for ransacking the office of the vice chancellor and for allegedly attacking police while protesting his return after two-month leave, will have to spend another night in jail as the formalities for their release could not be completed on Monday.

Their families and friends are hoping for their release on Tuesday.

The 25th Metropolitan Magistrate’s court at Miyapur pronounced the orders on the bail pleas as the Telangana government choose not to oppose the petitions.

The court asked the accused to arrange surety of Rs 5,000 each and appear before Gachibowli police station every week till the final disposal of the case.

Meanwhile, protest continued in the campus over the last week’s police crackdown.

Students, sympathetic towards those arrested, boycotted the classes in response to the call for nationwide protest given by the Joint Action Committee of Social Justice, comprising 14 students’ organisations.

Raising slogans against the vice chancellor and demanding his removal and arrest, hundreds of students took out a march even as police and university security stepped up vigil to maintain law and order.

Holding placards and raising slogans against RSS, ABVP, the central government and police excesses, the students marched to the main gate and staged a sit-in before dispersing peacefully.

The campus remained closed for outsiders amid fears of a fresh showdown as university authorities had vowed to resume classes despite the boycott call. However, the day passed off without any confrontation.

Meanwhile, Appa Rao on Monday said it was painful to see students and a couple of faculty members spending time in jail and appealed to students to rise above anger and confrontation and desist from violence.

“It’s very painful to see some of our students and couple of faculty members from campus spend time in jail. While I wanted to intervene, legal system is beyond our control and jurisdiction.

“I request the students to resist any temptation for violence on campus or anywhere else, as it would not yield any productive outcomes. Please restrain yourself from causing pain to yourself, your parents and the university,” said Appa Rao in a written and video appeal.

“You have all other avenues to express yourself. I humbly wish all students & student unions to sit together and resolve issues. I & my team will wholeheartedly support you in this endeavour,” he added.

A section of students are demanding his removal and his arrest, holding him responsible for the suicide of Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula.

He had proceeded on leave on January 24 after he was named in First Information Report (FIR) booked under SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act.

Appa Rao’s return on March 22 led to fresh bout of protest and violence with Joint Action Committee of Social Justice refusing to accept him as the head of the institution.

In a related development, the university set up a seven-member panel to hold talks with the agitating students.

“The committee would discuss with the student representatives about the matters that are negotiable from the list of demands submitted by them to the university,” said the notification issued by incharge registrar M. Sudhakar.

Appa Rao on Monday appeared before State Human Rights Commission. He was directed to appear before the commission last week but the registrar had appeared on his behalf and submitted a report on Saturday.

The commission was dealing with a petition about the university authorities closing down mess and stopping supply of water and other amenities to the students. The registrar already informed the commission that the students are getting all facilities.

In another development, former union home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde met students and faculty members in jail and condemned the brutal police attack on them.

He said the students who were staging a peaceful protest were beaten up and arrested while the vice chancellor who has been booked under SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act is still roaming free.