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Injustice In University of Hyderabad: Social Boycott of 5 Dalit Research Scholars

 

ASA - HCU

Five Research Scholars (Ph.D students) at University of Hyderabad are ostracized by the decision of the University to restrict their entry in to hostels, administration building and other common places in groups and denial of permission to participate in Students' Union elections, as an administrative response to the incidents related to ASA vs ABVP on 03.08.2015. This decision of suspension was arrived at by the Executive Council, the apex body of the University, without conducting any enquiry. Isn't this similar to a dominant caste ostracizing a Dalit-household from the village? Here, 5 senior research scholars who happen to be from Dalit background are outcast from the day-to-day activities of the university space.

Order of Suspension of Dalit Research Scholars, barring their entry into common places in groups, Administrative Buildings, hostels and their participation in Students' Union Elections

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The said decision is against the orders of vice-chancellor which revoked the earlier suspension and reserved the right to investigate the incidents that happened on 03/08/2015 and 04/08/2015 afresh.

What happened on 03.08.2015

On 3-8-2015, our organization was informed that some intolerant person had passed bad comments on Facebook calling ASA as goons. On investigation, it was learnt that Mr.Susheel Kumar, President ABVP-HCU Unit, posted the following update: "ASA goons are talking about hooliganism".

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ABVP President's statement on ASA terming Ambedkarites as Goons

When asked him about the same, he replied : "Since you have organized a protest against ABVP's hooliganism in Delhi University against disruption of the screening of Muzaffarnagar Baaqi Hain, against ASA's protest, i posted terming ASA as goons". However, part of the reply was refuted, since we hadn't used the term 'hooliganism', but condemned the attack by ABVP on Montage Film Society.

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Since, such posting was demeaning in the manner in which an Ambedkarite organization was categorised as consisting of goons, we asked for a written apology to ASA. Subsequently, he apologized in writing in presence of Security officials. After receiving the apology we left the place.

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The issue took a different shape by the next morning i.e., on 4-8-2015. The said ABVP President, along with his brother who is a member of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, went to a private hospital and started a melodrama. In the meantime, members of ABVP along with BJYM cadres spread false allegations against the suspended students. In that process, BJP MLC, Mr. Ramachandra Rao met the Vice-Chancellor along with some of his party cadre. He insisted the Vice-Chancellor should take action against the Dalit students, terming them as anti-national. Later, an Enquiry Committee was constituted by Professor R.P Sharma, former Vice-Chancellor, under the chairmanship of Professor Alok Pandey.

The committee submitted its report; ironically the final decision of the proctorial board contradicted this diametrically with its own findings. To quote the findings:

 1) "The Board could not get any hard evidence of beating of Mr.Susheel Kumar either from Mr Krishna Chaitnya or from the reports submitted by Dr. Anupama. Dr. Anupama's reports also could not link or suggest that the surgery of the Sushil Kumar is the direct result of the beating."
2) "According to DSO, Mr. Dilip Singh, who was the first to reach to the spot, there was a big gathering of ASA cadres discussing with Sushil Kumar. When asked about the beating, he told that he didn't witness any beating of Mr. Susheel Kumar during his presence."
3) "Mr. Krishna Chaitanya could not present any hard evidence of Mr. Sushil Kumar's beating in support of his letter."
4) "It was clear from all depositions that Mr. Susheel Kumar posted the said comments on facebook and ASA people went to Mr. Susheel's room to seek apology and for the removal of the post."
5) This whole argument ended with the apology letter of Mr. Susheel Kumar.

 On the one hand, in the findings, the Medical officer was quoted to have said there was no hard beating of Mr. Susheel Kumar; he could also not link the medical surgery for appendicitis which Susheel Kumar had undergone to the incident or was a direct result of beating. Duty Security Officer also has confirmed that there was no beating.

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Proctorial Board Findings

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Proctorial Boards Findings and decisions

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Proctorial board findings and decisions

 But the final decision of the proctorial board contradicted diametrically with its own finding, to quote:

 "Based on the Medical officer report (explained by Dr. Anupama), main complainant Susheel Kumar's deposition and pictures by him and the depositions of two eyewitnesses (names are kept confidential) of the incident, it was evidently cleared that Mr.Susheel Kumar was abused, manhandled, beaten, forced to write apology letter by a group of more than 30 students, lead by Prashant. The main and most active students involved and named by the complainant and mostly confirmed by eyewitnesses, in abusing and hitting are Prashant, Rohit, Seshu, Vijay and Sunkanna"

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Final Decision of Proctorial Board on Suspension of Five Dalit Research Scholars

 Immediately following the decision on suspension a protest was organized by ASA, and in an open discussion with former Vice-Chancellor, Professor R.P Sharma on the fallacies of enquiry and decision taken, he immediately revoked the suspension, subject to constitution of a new committee to enquire into the incidents afresh.

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Revocation of the Suspension of Students

 However, the present Vice-Chancellor, Professor Podile Apparao has not ordered any fresh enquiry, and has kept the suspended students in dark about formation of a committee from Executive Council. Subsequently he took a decision of suspension of entry into hostels, common places in groups, administrative building, and sent notices to vacate the rooms immediately.

From the entire episode it is clear that, Dalit Research Scholars were victimized on account of political pressure from BJP and right-wing forces prompting these actions of the present Vice-Chancellor, who negated the natural principles of Justice and violated the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, in a rushed attempt to show his allegiance to BJP and ABVP.

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