Hyderabad Violence: Police brutality against students caught on camera; nationwide protests

Written by: Maitreyee Boruah
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Bengaluru, March 23: The Hyderabad cops have come under the scanner for brutally beating students of the University of Hyderabad (UoH), Hyderabad on Tuesday (March 22).

The students were protesting against the vice-chancellor Appa Rao Podile, an accused in the suicide of Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula, who resumed charge on the campus on Tuesday, March 22.


The students and teachers of UoH alleged that Podile deferred a crucial meeting that would have discussed discrimination against Dalits and tribals on the campus.

Now, a video has emerged, which showcases men in uniform abusing and beating students.
"Even female students were beaten and manhandled by male cops. This is pure injustice. We condemn such violence by the police," said a student of the university.


Earlier on Tuesday, students vandalised the vice-chancellor's office and residence after he rejoined work.

The vice-chancellor was on an indefinite leave for nearly two months, after Rohith committed suicide on the campus of the university on January 17.Since Rohith's tragic death, students have been demanding the ouster of Podile.

An article published in The Telegraph stated, "The sudden comeback (of the vice-chancellor) even before a judicial commission probing the suicide gives its report has surprised many faculty members. Several teachers and students gathered to protest in front of his residence on the campus in the morning. Some students allegedly barged in and damaged windowpanes, doors, a television set and furniture."

"After Rohith's suicide caused a nationwide uproar, the Human Resource Development ministry had set up a judicial commission that completed its hearing on Monday (March 21). The commission has one more month to submit its report," The Telegraph article added.

As a mark of protest against the brutality of police against the students of UoH, several rallies will be hosted across the nation on Wednesday (March 23). The protest marches in Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad are likely to start from 2pm on Wednesday.

"The cops picked up several students and two professors from the campus on Tuesday. They were brutally beaten up inside a police van and detained in unknown locations. Now, we have learnt that they were detained in Miyapur and Narsing police stations. The police blatantly lied to those who went to Miyapur police station in search of the detained students and teachers. Cops told that they were not holding anybody in the police station. We still do not know the fate of the students and teachers," said Karthik Bittu, a faculty fellow of the University of Hyderabad.

"The CRPF and RAF personnel have beaten up hundreds of protesting students badly. They called the students as 'anti-nationals'. The students were crying in pain. Even female students were beaten up by male police officers. The phones of several students have been confiscated while they video recorded the brutality.

Hostels were searched as police appeared to have a list of students and faculty members they were trying to pick up.

A letter has emerged showing the eerie and detailed coordination between Appa Rao Podile, sections of faculty and non-teaching staff, and ABVP students. The vice-chancellor has disrupted the peaceful academic atmosphere of the university with his unannounced and forceful return on the campus," Karthik added. [PHOTOS : Students Protest At HCU Vice-Chancellor Official Residence]

Karthik alleged that Podile postponed the academic council meeting on account of Holi and suspended classes till March 26.

"Why the vice-chancellor is acting in this manner? He has also encouraged non-teaching staff to go on a strike, leading to halting of food supply in the messes. There is no supply of drinking water on the campus.

The campus does not have any access to the internet. Why the vice-chancellor wants to shut down the campus at a time when exams are about to start?" asked Karthik.

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