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Rohith suicide: Hyderabad University revokes suspensions, students demand arrests

Hyderabad: The Central University of Hyderabad on Thursday revoked suspensions of four Dalit students who had been barred along with Rohith Vemula from accessing the hostel and library.
The decision, taken by the Executive Council of the University four days after Rohith committed suicide, was rejected by the students who burnt a copy of the circular and demanded arrests in the case.

The students were suspended for allegedly attacking a ABVP member in August 2015.

“We can’t accept it because Rohith is no longer with us. We had been demanding revocation of suspension when he was alive. We now want arrests to be made, we want the VC to step down,”one of the suspended students Vijay Kumar told CNN-IBN.

The circular said: “The Council after taking into account the extraordinary situation prevailing in the University, and after discussing the issue in detail, it resolved to terminate the punishment imposed on the students concerned with immediate effect.

“Further Professor P Appa Rao has appealed to the University community to maintain calmness and harmony under the extraordinary circumstances prevailing on the campus and repose faith in the internal mechanisms to resolve the issue and fervently urged all in the University to contribute to resuming regular class work, research activities and administrative work without further delay. He has also called upon all the teachers, students, officers and supporting staff to rise to the occasion.”

26-year-old Rohith committed suicide on Sunday by hanging himself in a hostel room, months after he and four other Dalit students were barred from the facility for allegedly attacking an ABVP leader. The five were denied access to all facilities in their campus, except their classrooms and workshops related to their subject of study.

Prakash Babu, the dean of the university said the suspensions were revoked unconditionally, subject to proceedings in the case which is in the High Court.

Student bodies and political rivals have been targeting the Centre over Rohith’s suicide, after it emerged that the suspensions came after the HRD ministry repeatedly wrote to the varsity on a complaint from local MP and Union minister Bandaru Dattatreya.

Earlier in the day, 13 faculty members including Professor V Krishna, controller of exams, Chief Medical Officer Dr Ravendra Kumar, 10 hostel wardens and chief warden Nagaraju resigned from their administrative posts.

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