After getting bail,25 students returned to University of Hyderabad on Tuesday and are attending the classes wearing black and blue ribbons as mark of protest while a report comes in accusing Policemen of threatening the girl students with rape during the cracked down on students over suicide of Dalit PhD scholar Rohith Vemula.
The sudents and faculty members of Hyderabad Central University who were arrested for alleged vandalism and violence on the campus on March 22 were granted bail by the 25th Metropolitan Magistrate at Miyapur court
The report was prepared by an independent fact finding team and the accusations were made even as Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao ordered an investigation into alleged police brutalities at the university.
A mother even breaks down as she talks about her teen son who was arrested on 22th March along with 26 others, from his university in Hyderabad.
“We are not (living) in Syria or Pakistan. It is the duty of the police to inform parents about those who’ve been arrested. No government, university authorities or faculty members got in touch with us,” she said as neither her name nor her son’s be revealed.
The team, which went into March 22 incidents on the campus, found that there was widespread assault of women students. “Abusive language and threats to rape the women students were heard from police,” said the interim report by the panel comprising senior human rights activists, academicians and lawyers.
The team, which met students, faculty members, police and Telangana home minister, also claimed that targeted statements towards minority students and describing them as “terrorists” were also heard.
The team members told reporters on Saturday that students and faculty members arrested were not presented before a magistrate within 24 hours as required by law,rather Police took more than 30 hours to produce the students before the magistrate
“Police could have given bail but the students and faculty were remanded in judicial custody,” said the report.
Police had arrested 25 students and two faculty members when they were staging a protest against P. Appa Rao resuming his duties as the vice chancellor.
Appa Rao, his representatives and other university officials refused to meet the panel.
The committee said that the registrar banned the entry of media, and political, social, students groups on March 23 so that nobody could meet the faculty or students on campus and see for themselves the place of occurrence of the violence let loose a day earlier.
The panel said the return of Appa Rao triggered the disruption of peace on campus and the police inaction in the case registered against him, central minister Bandaru Dattatreya and ABVP leader Sushil Kumar under SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities Act) for research scholar Rohith Vemula’s suicide in January also contributed to the situation.
It recommended that vice chancellor must be suspended pending the outcome of the investigation in the best academic and interest and in restoring a peaceful environment in the university, while police need to step up their response in dealing with the cases filed.
The panel recommended that criminal investigation should be immediately conducted and action should be taken against the police who have wilfully neglected their duty under section 4 of the SC/ST amendment act, 2016.
It called for immediately restoring normalcy of the university. “Free mobility in and out of the university and this must be brought back to regular functioning. This is essential for the academic health of the university, which has suffered significantly.”
The members of the panel are Henri Tiphagne (Human Rights Defenders Alert), Tara Rao (Amnesty International), Burnard Fatima (International Movement against all forms of Discrimination and Racism), Kuffir Nalgundwar (Round Table India), Kiruba Munusamy (Supreme Court lawyer), Beena Pallical (National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights), Ramesh Nathan (National Dalit Movement for Justice), Asha Kowtal (All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch) and Paul Divakar (Asia Dalit Rights Forum)