In a counter-affidavit filed by the University of Hyderabad responding to a petition in the High Court by Nandanam Vinaya, mother of ABVP student leader N Susheel Kumar, the university said that the allegations made by Susheel Kumar that he was attacked — by a group of students including Rohith Vemula — “is a little overboard and the petitioner is only trying to generate sympathy of this Hon’ble Court”.
Filed by the Registrar (In-Charge) B Pandu Reddy on November 27, 2015, the counter-affidavit was in response to a writ petition filed on August 27 that sought to direct the respondent authorities — State of Telangana, DGP, Commissioner of Police, Station House Officer (Gachibowli), University of Hyderabad, Dean of Students Welfare and Union of India — to provide security to stop further threats and attacks on her son Susheel Kumar. And to punish the persons responsible for this attack.
In his counter-affidavit, the university Registrar said he was well-acquainted with the facts of the case. “I have gone through the affidavit filed in support of the writ petition and I deny all the allegations made therein except those that are specifically admitted hereunder. The allegations made by the petitioner against the University and its officers (that they did not step in and help Kumar) are untrue and baseless. As per the facts revealed to us pursuant of the inquiry, the petitioner’s ward N Susheel Kumar, PhD student posed certain objectionable message on Facebook page commenting on the protest undertaken by student members belonging to Ambedkar Students’ Association (ASA) pursuant to hanging of Yakub Memon. A group of students intimidated by the comments of Susheel Kumar went to his room and questioned him. In the process, there was a heated argument between students belonging to ASA and ABVP which led to a scuffle.”
The affidavit says that the allegation that Susheel Kumar was attacked “is a little overboard and the petitioner is only trying to generate sympathy of this Hon’ble Court.” It added that since the scuffle was between two groups, “it has become all the more difficult for the University authorities to initiate immediate action as there have been accusations and counter accusations and involvement of politicians/elected representatives supporting their respective groups.’’
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The Registrar also submitted that, based on the interim report submitted by the Proctorial Board, the five students were issued a strong warning. Susheel Kumar was also given a strong warning. The Proctorial Board submitted its final report on September 7 recommending action against the five students and as per the resolution of the local Executive Council, they were suspended. The Registrar submitted that the University considered the representation of the five suspended students on September 10, and “considering the fact that the punishment would disentitle the students from receiving scholarship and the fact the suspended students are from an economically downtrodden background, the university revoked the suspension and referred the matter to the Executive Council.” Subsequently, on November 27, the Proctorial Board’s recommendation was accepted and the students were suspended.