Round Table India
An unprecedented crisis situation is being faced by students of UoH with hostel messes being shut down apart from strictly enforced no-entry for media, political groups and external student organizations (see circular). Updates reaching the social media and through phone conversations have confirmed that Internet has been blocked, and access to water and food made unavailable in hostels.
The scale of denial of basic rights by this kind of siege is massive, as HCU campus has around 20 plus hostels housing around 5000 students.
Videos from yesterday's protests and police repression:
Here are some updates from social media about news, and on information that can help mobilize help:
UoH update:- As many as 28 students and two faculty members have been officially arrested by police. All of them are being produced before Miyapur court. They will be sent to sent to jail on Judicial remand today evening. Cyberabad Police filed cases against them for 'attacking cops' and 'vandalism' #RohithVemula
There is also unconfirmed news that 51 students have been arrested in the campus today.
Male Student: Friends in hyderabad, pls go and see if the students at UoH have food to eat at all in campus. When money is not a factor for many, it is a major concern for many students there. Even if they have money, all food outlets have been shut down. It is a matter of great concern. See if u could do something for the students at uoh.
South Mess: Food is being prepared by women students in South mess, over 30 volunteers are preparing dinner for about 300-350 students. Dinner will be served at 6pm.
I&L: Food cooked by students at I&L is being provided now and they request students to join them.
The men's hostels do not have even this going right now. Their attempts to cook at Shopcom has received threats from the police and a fresh round of arrests have been made.
Students at South Campus (MH I-L) mess have cooked and served over 500 students. Evening's food is under preparation. Any student from of South hostel can come over.
Female student: Just got news that those students who were busy with community cooking at North campus shop com got arrested by police! Police says it is a public place and we can't cook there! About 51 students are arrested and counting! Looks like whoever walks into shop com gets arrested now! University has also blocked SBH debit cards issued by university along with food, water, electricity and internet! They are turning us prisoners inside our very own campus! This is no more a university campus! This is a Nazi camp!
Is anyone out there listening? Or are you guys waiting for our dead bodies to extend solidarity?
Pictures from Velivada where some community cooking by students was toped by the police, and some students detained. Plans seem to be afoot to remove the protest tents and clear the whole area by the police, any time soon.
Information for local organizations who are mobilizing to help the students with this situation:
Though food can be ordered, it is not allowed in, as delivery persons are stopped at the gate by security and the police. Students can go to the main gate and get it, which means volunteers can deliver food and water, but, would need to call some students to come and take it from the main gate.
Anant Maringanti from Hyderabad writes: Lamakaan opens its kitchen to University of Hyderabad hostelers. In view of the extraordinary situation in University of Hyderabad Lamakaan has decided to offer free staple food to any University of Hyderabad hosteler upon production of id card until this crisis is resolved. Being 20 km away from the campus, we realize that this gesture may only serve a symbolic purpose. But we hope that others close by will take cue and act in solidarity. Lamakaan - An Open Cultural Space
EFLU Community in Solidarity with the HCU Community
As you are aware, the University of Hyderabad administration, in its attempt to scuttle the protest by the students and teachers of HCU against the V C Appa Rao resuming charge, has closed down the hostel messes, internet connectivity, etc. The campus community is suffering from shortage of food and water. The EFLU community has decided to carry out a solidarity march to HCU and to distribute food and water to the students today evening. We request the members of EFLU community to join us in large numbers in our march to HCU and also to contribute financially. We will leave from EFLU campus at 5:30 pm
PS: Please contact the following numbers if you wish to contribute in the form of financial or physical help.
Ashfaque Ali : 09177971320
Jabbar Chungathara: 08897145705
Dwija Aami; 08978521305
Update at 6. 40 pm, 23rd March.
Dalit Students' Union - HCU: Uday Bhanu senior leader DSU was brutally,mercelessly thrashed by the police. He went unconsious and now he is admitted in pranam hospital.
...what crime he committed?? He was cooking food for students who are starving since yesterday.
Update 8.00 pm, 23rd March.
Please check the students' own narratives on violence unleashed by the police and UoH administration yesterday on this YouTube Channel:
Update, 8.45 pm, 23rd March.
Hello all. If you have any contacts in Hyd who can organise drop off food packs and water bottles at the entrance of HCU please request them to do the same. Students will come collect it.
Ask them to contact Tushar +918332809712
He will organise pick up from entrance.
Update, 9.00 pm, 23rd March.
Koonal Duggal, Teacher of Art History, Radhika Vemula and her son Raju sitting in dharna outside UoH demaniding killer VC Appa Rao's arrest..
Update. 9.40 pm, 23rd March.
When the students planned to cook outside near the shopping complex as all the mess were closed, Prabhakar, Uday Bhanu, Rakhee and other friends started collecting stones and stuff required...
As a symbolic protest they started cooking on the road near shopping complex when a Sub-Inspector walked to them and started provoking the students...Uday Bhanu and others appealed him not to provoke and understand the situation why they are forced to cook outside.
The SI then dragged Uday Bhanu and thrashed him, slapped and threw him on the ground with force and stepped on his chest and started beating him...
Uday Bhanu was completely in a shock while the police dragged him to the police van.
Few professors arrived at the scene and negotiated and pleaded the SI to leave Uday Bhanu as it was not the students fault to cook as their mess service was blocked...
When the professors and friends tried to talk to Uday Bhanu he could not speak, he was completely traumatized because of what happened...he was immediately taken to the health centre on a wheel chair. He was badly injured on his head and was referred to the nearest hospital where he is still recovering from the shock and the injury.
Why Uday Bhanu was attacked?
When the HCU administration and Telangana police decided to secretly cremate Rohith's body without informing his family members and against his family and friends' wish, Uday Bhanu was the only person who was there with the body who protested against the administration and the police...he went into an argument with them and he was in their eyes since then.
Update, 11.30, March 23rd.
The list of arrested students (source: Twitter, via Mahitosh Mandal):
Update, 11.14 am, March 24th.
Vaikhari Aryat: Students please spread word that drinking water is made available in ladies hostel south mess now. Also Wi-Fi and electricity got reinstated after 48hrs of blanket ban. We do not know if this is going to be stable. We got our mess workers back after 48hrs. South mess in ladies hostel is functioning now. I tried asking them why did they leave us in crisis yesterday. They did not answer and refused to meet our eyes. I am glad they are back with us and I know they did not abandon us in purpose. What can they do? Most of them are daily wage workers. The pressure on them is about their daily bread too. They are as much victims of this system as we are. They asked us how did we manage for 2 days. Well, we survived it together as that is the only resistance possible here at the moment.
Last night students cooked food in LH south mess for ladies hostel inmates with available provisions, which was not enough for students from 7 hostels. So some of us went to have dinner from community kitchen in Shop com. Police men were still there all over the place, roaming around, invading the space, looking for potential anti-national activities like, er burping? Sharing drinking water? Comforting fellow students who breaks down occasionally exhausted from the threat, angst and pressure? Pretending everything is OK to distressed parents over phone? Being a muslim? I don't know what are they looking for to pick one of us and beat up brutally like they did with Uday Bhanu, who did nothing other than cooking for hungry fellow students in the community kitchen earlier that day. As I sat there eating the humble dal and rice, with the campus community, I felt reassured that we will survive this ordeal. We will. Together.
Some students from community kitchen recounted yesterday, how the police stopped each box of tomatoes to check if we are bringing in beef to cook. Yes, they should be afraid. This is UoH, which talks loudly about beef politics to rest of the nation. I am glad they are scared. They should be.
Uday Bhanu is in ICU. We remain locked up inside. Outsiders are all blocked from entering inside this island and funnily that rule doesn't apply to police. Police outnumbers students, invading our democratic space and othering us from our own space. Rohith's mother and brother are sitting in front of the locked main gate since last night demanding the arrest of one of the killer's of her son and his brother. Our friends and professors who got arrested from campus 2 days back still remain unreleased and false cases are charged against them. The police could not wait to file cases against the nonviolent protesters who had nothing to defend themselves from the violence of armed police. No mention about the policemen who threatened female students of rape and shouted muslims are terrorists! No mention about student who got kicked to lower abdomen till he vomited. No one is held accountable for the brutal sexual and physical violence on unsuspecting students and faculties alike! And yet, they can not do a thing to VC Appa Rao against whom the case is booked under SC/ST atrocities act and for abetting suicide of one of his own students. He resumes his power and order violence against his own students and colleagues so that he can avenge the resistance against his regime!
No, this campus is not back to normalcy yet.
Update, 3.30 pm, 24th March.
The arrested students of University of Hyderabad are accused of the following charges:
Indian Penal Code
147. Punishment for rioting.
149. Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object.
324. Voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means.
332. Voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty.
341. Punishment for wrongful restraint.
353. Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty.
Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act
3. Mischief causing damage to public property. -
Via Kiruba Munuswamy
Update, 4.00 pm, 24th March.
Uday Bhanu is stable and is being shifted for CT Scan.
Images courtesy: University Community Facebook Page