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Lalita Iyer
Lalita Iyer

UoH crisis

Appa Rao may soon have to hire private bodyguards

Appa-Rao University of Hyderabad Vice Chancellor Appa Rao Podile | PTI

University of Hyderabad (UoH) Vice Chancellor Appa Rao Podile might soon have to depend on private body guards to venture out of his official residence.

For, the Telangana state police is likely to withdraw the security cover extended to him, after a group of students vandalised his official residence on March 22.

The VC has been in the eye of the storm over the suicide of PhD scholar Rohith Vemula on January 17. He was criticised for his handling of an issue related to the suspension of five Dalit students, including Vemula, who was found hanging 15 days after the disciplinary action. Ever since then, UoH students have been demanding Rao's ouster.

Although Vemula held nobody responsible for his act in his purported suicide letter, students have been accusing the university administration and the VC of discriminating against him on the basis of his caste.

As the protest intensified on campus, Rao went on leave. On March 22, he resumed office, prompting agitating students to break into his official residence and damage furniture.

After the incident, the state police deployed 20 personnel on UoH campus to guard Rao from possible attacks. Recently, senior police officials have met Rao and hinted at withdrawing the security cover.

Sources say police feel they cannot provide him security all his life and that it has to be pulled back at some time. With the onset of the summer vacation, they expect the tensions to simmer down.

Also, it is learned that Rao is doing all his official work from inside the VC's bungalow, after the police advised him not to venture out.

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Topics : #Rohith Vemula

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