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Students stage protest seeking HCU VC’s removal, detained

Fresh protests rocked the Hyderabad Central University (HCU) on Wednesday as members of the Left-affiliated student unions tried to barge into the university campus, demanding Vice-Chancellor Appa Rao Podile’s removal over the suicide of Rohith Vemula, even as the police took into preventive custody 83 of the protesters.

Controller of Examination Professor V Krishna walked out of the Academic Council Meeting in the university to express his solidarity with the students.

The ‘Chalo HCU’ call was given by Joint Action Committee (JAC) for Social Justice of HCU to intensify their agitation, demanding the removal and arrest of Podile, who resumed charge as VC on March 22, after coming back from a two-month leave.

Some of the protesters, who claimed that Podile had no right to chair the AC meeting, climbed the main entrance gate as policemen prevented them from entering the campus and took them into preventive custody.

Assistant Commissioner of Police Bhujanga Rao said there was no permission for outsiders to enter the HCU campus.

“They tried to barge into the campus. In view of the law and order issue, the police stopped them and took 83 of them into preventive arrest,” he said.

Prashant, a JAC member said, “We will seek cooperation from different political parties and students and civil organisations to build pressure on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government for sacking Appa Rao.” 

The students raised slogans against Podile and held banners, asking him to leave the campus. They said Podile has been booked on charge of abetting suicide of Vemula, and questioned how could he chair the AC meeting. 

The JAC had earlier appealed to all students, political organisations, and people to come to the HCU on Wednesday to register their protest and express solidarity seeking justice for Vemula.
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