Various Student Organizations, NGO’s, Faculties and other civic bodies throughout the nation condemns the Suspension of Prof. K.Y Ratnam & Dr.Tathagata Sengupta.
At the forefront Joint Action Committee for Social Justice (UoH) condemns the atrocious and outrageous decision taken by the institutional murderer Prof Appa Rao Podile-led University of Hyderabad for suspending a senior Dalit Professor K.Y Ratnam and Dr.Tathagata Sengupta in the pretext of their illegal arrest on 22nd March, 2016. The Dalit research scholars Rohith, Prashanth, Vijay, Seshiah and Dr.Sunkanna were ostracized and subjected to social boycott by the same Executive Council that took the decision of suspension on 6th June, 2016 and issued the suspension orders to our teachers on 13th June, 2016.
Prof Appa Rao Podile, after three months, is citing “a Government Rule” to justify his decision of suspending the two teachers. It is such an irony that a culprit booked under non-bailable charges is scot free and exercising his power as Vice-Chancellor with complete impunity provided by the BJP-led MHRD and Central Government to take arbitrary decisions against students and teachers protesting for #JusticeforRohith.
Joint Action Committee for Social Justice (UoH) repeats what we had demanded when Prof Appa Rao Podile had returned to campus on the 22nd March that Section 17 of the SC/ST PoA Act be immediately applied because it clearly states that preventive action can be taken in case of an area prone to atrocities against those who have committed an offense under SC/ST PoA Act. Completely violating this section, Appa Rao Podile has been allowed by MHRD and Telangana State to return to the University. The fears is escalated as Appa Rao Podile’s presence on campus can tamper the evidence and created insecurity and distress among the students has been proven true time and again.
Prof.Sreepati Ramudu who resigned from the post of Head of Center for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy recently in protest against the appointment of Vipin Srivastava as Pro-Vice Chancellor mentioned in his resignation letter about the constant humiliation and oppression that is meted out to the Dalit community in University of Hyderabad. After persecuting Dalit students, the fascist Prof Appa Rao Podile and his political masters sitting in Nagpur are now targeting Prof. K.Y Ratnam, the Head of Center for Ambedkar Studies who along with three other Dalit intellectuals gave a befitting reply to RSS against the appropriation of Babasaheb Ambedkar’s works by Sangh Parivar.
In 2002, when 10 dalit students were rusticated the then Chief Warden Appa Rao Podile, Prof. K.Y Ratnam registered his protest against the casteist University administration. Even after their release from jail, Prof. K.Y Ratnam and Dr.Tathagata Sengupta continued to raise their voices for #JusticeforRohith in different parts of the country. It is no surprise that such a decision targeting these teachers has come out at this juncture because Appa Rao Podile feels threatened by the spirit and commitment of the struggling University community.
In 2002, when 10 dalit students were rusticated the then Chief Warden Appa Rao Podile, Prof. K.Y Ratnam registered his protest against the casteist University administration.
Post 17th January, Prof Appa Rao Podile fled from campus and after two months, he returned with a massive police force and a well conspired “task list” that chalked out the responsibilities for his stooges in University to ensure his smooth return on 22nd March, 2016 to capture the Vice-Chancellor’s post. On that day, State police and CRPF unleashed its brute force on the protesting students who did not accept an institutional murderer as Vice-Chancellor and demanded for his immediate arrest. Instead, when police started thrashing and arresting students, Prof. K.Y Ratnam and Dr. Tathagata Sengupta intervened and asked the police to not beat them and demanded that the culprit be booked under SC/ST PoA Act and Abetment of Suicide be arrested immediately. However, the teachers were dragged inside police vans, subjected to custodial torture and jail time. On 23rd March, 2016, another dalit research scholar Uday Bhanu, member of Joint Action Committee was brutally beaten up by police and threatened for life for cooking food near Velivada. Students decided to cook food for them when Prof Appa Rao Podile created rifts between non-teaching staff and struggling students by luring a section of them and imposed a 48 hour ban on food and other basic amenities. This is the politics played by Prof Appa Rao Podile as Vice-Chancellor that we cannot forget.
Few questions that seeks honest answers:
- What took Prof Appa Rao Podile-led Executive Council so long to decide on the suspension of the teachers?
- Why did Appa Rao Podile conduct the Executive Council meeting during the vacation?
- Wasn’t this meeting convened to execute Prof Appa Rao Podile’s agenda of suspending the struggling teachers to create fear among the University community?
It is not coincidental that University has intensified its attacks on #JusticeforRohith struggle during the vacation. As vacation started, the University administration shut down hostels, confiscated the tents and desecrated Babasaheb Ambedkar’s images, quotes and the Preamble of the Constitution that amounts to yet another atrocity as per SC/ST PoA Amendments Act (2015)
It is not coincidental that University has intensified its attacks on #JusticeforRohith struggle during the vacation. As vacation started, the University administration shut down hostels, confiscated the tents and desecrated Babasaheb Ambedkar’s images, quotes and the Preamble of the Constitution that amounts to yet another atrocity as per SC/ST PoA Amendments Act (2015), whitewashed all the walls that carried the memories of our struggle and in the latest attack, suspended our teachers who stood resolutely against the dictatorial regime of the institutional murderer. The unrest and an atmosphere of fear and intimidation prevailing on campus is generated among students after the return of the primary accused in the institutional murder of Rohith Vemula.
Joint Action Committee for Social Justice (UoH) demands that Appa Rao Podile must be arrested immediately to stop further atrocity against dalits on campus. We demand the immediate revocation of suspension of Prof. K.Y Ratnam and Dr. Tathagata Sengupta. We demand the imposition of section 17 of PoA Act to be imposed upon the university. We reiterate that WE WILL NOT STEP BACK UNTIL JUSTICE IS DELIVERED TO ROHITH VEMULA.