Police clamp down on Hyderabad varsity as Kanhaiya arrives

23 Mar 2016


A day after police and students clashed violently at the University of Hyderabad, police clamped down in the area, barring entry of news media and outsiders, even as Jawaharlal Nehru University Students' Union president Kanhaiya Kumar landed in the city to reach the campus.

Kumar reached Hyderabad this morning, and is expected to join the protests later in the day. University authorities have already made it clear that he will not be allowed on the campus.

''I would first go and meet Rohith's mother and brother. I came to Hyderabad on invitation of the Joint Action Committee, to ensure social justice on the campus. If police allows me, I would certainly go to the campus for the meeting in the evening to address the students,'' he said as soon as he arrived at the Hyderabad airport where several Left party leaders gathered to welcome him.

Violence broke out on Tuesday when vice-chancellor Appa Rao resumed office after a two-month leave following the row over the suicide of Rohith Vemula, a Dalit scholar. Students demanded that Rao be arrested immediately as he was one of the accused in Vemula's suicide on 17 January.

Television channels showed visuals of a ransacked office of the vice-chancellor and police lathi-charging protesting students. About 25 students were taken into custody. The university suspended classes till Monday ''due to the unusual situation prevailing in the university''.

''In view of the situation ... we have taken a decision not to allow any outsider, including mediapersons and political parties, on the campus,'' registrar M Sudhakar said.

A large number of police personnel have been deployed on campus to keep protests at bay.

Calling it ''a black day in the history of the university'', Rao made it clear that the university would seek police help to ensure normalcy on the campus, after his official residence was ransacked.

However, Communist Party of India leader K Narayana accused the authorities of turning the university into a police camp.

A section of students alleged that Rao was sent back to prevent Kumar's visit to the university. The JNU student, who was booked and arrested for an event where anti-national slogans were allegedly shouted, arrived in Hyderabad on a day his bail plea comes up for hearing in the Delhi High Court.

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