Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao told the Assembly on Saturday that he would try to convey to Prime Minister Narendra Modi the “mood of the House” in favour of recalling University of Hyderabad Vice-Chancellor P Appa Rao.
In response to demands by the Congress and Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) that a resolution be passed to convey to the Centre that Appa Rao should be removed, the Chief Minister said the state government was not in a position to advise the central government or interfere with its decisions.
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He agreed, however, to hold a discussion on the issues agitating the students at UoH, and said a senior police officer would inquire into the allegations of police excesses on March 22.
“It seems the return of the V-C angered the students which led to the incident. If possible I will speak with the Prime Minister and convey the mood of the House that V-C of UoH should be recalled to restore peace at the university. There are allegations that the university disconnected power and water supply to hostels, we will also seek an investigation into that,” KCR said.
Students had ransacked the V-C’s residence on campus on the day he returned to work about two months after going on leave in the aftermath of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula’s suicide. Several students were subsequently arrested for vandalism and stone-throwing, and the supply of power and water was disconnected in some hostels.
Speaking for the first time on Vemula’s suicide, KCR said whether he was a Dalit or not was not the issue — his death was very unfortunate.
As soon as the House met, the opposition Congress, whose members wore black stoles, and the AIMIM sought a debate on the alleged police excesses. They demanded their adjournment motions on the issue be taken up but
Deputy Speaker Padma Reddy rejected this. Opposition MLAs rushed to the well of the House, demanding the withdrawal of cases filed against the students and two teachers. The protests led to three adjournments.
AIMIM’s Akbaruddin Owaisi demanded that the House pass a resolution to urge the central government to recall V-C Appa Rao.
Replying to allegations about police brutality, Home Minister N Narasimha Reddy said that police had to enter the campus because students had resorted to violence. “While the VC was inside, about 100 students jumped the gates and broke open doors and window panes and damaged a lot of equipment. When police went there and requested students to leave, they did not, and for nearly six hours police pleaded with the students but to no avail. Later, they were evicted forcibly during which they started pelting stones at police in which one lady constable and four policemen were injured,” Reddy said.