Vemula’s kin, Cong press for immediate release of arrested students
The family of deceased Dalit scholar Rohithh Vemula and the Congress on Friday demanded the immediate release of 25 students and two faculty members of the Hyderabad Central University(HCU) arrested in connection with the violence on campus.
Vemula’s mother Radhika and brother Raja, while demanding the unconditional release of the arrested people, also sought the immediate arrest of HCU vice-chancellor Appa Rao Podile, stating that there was a case registered against him for abetment of the scholar’s suicide.
Telangana Congress president N Uttamkumar Reddy visited the students and teachers, who were arrested on March 23 in connection with an alleged attack on the VC’s office a day ago, at the Cherlapally Prison here. He alleged the Centre and the state government had adopted a dictatorial attitude towards HCU students and were playing with their lives.
“We demand immediate and unconditional release of all those, who were arrested and sent to jail, and withdrawal of cases against them. They (students) were asking for justice for Rohith (during the protest near VC’s lodge)...but were beaten up brutally by the police,” said Vemula’s mother Radhika and brother Raja, who were accompanied by some teachers of HCU and parents of some of the arrested students.
“A case has already been registered against Appa Rao. How can he resume duty? Over two months have passed since the registration of the case, but no one has (either) been questioned or arrested,” Radhika said, adding that cases were registered against students who were arrested and jailed. “How many more days we have to wait for justice to Rohith? ...If I question the government, will I be called as anti-national,” Raja asked.
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar also condemned the crackdown on the students, who were demanding action against Podile in the Vemula suicide case and urged the Central and the Telangana governments to ensure quick resolution of the stand-off between the HCU administration and students.
A local court has posted the hearing on the bail pleas of the arrested students and the faculty members on March 28.