Student death: Hyderabad Central University says was lenient on 5 suspended research scholars

Defending its action, the Executive Council of Hyderabad Central University had taken a "lenient view" by not imposing "complete suspension" of five

Hyderabad: Defending its action, the Executive Council of Hyderabad Central University had taken a "lenient view" by not imposing "complete suspension" of five

research scholars, including the Dalit Ph D student who committed suicide on Sunday, as recommended by Proctorial Board, so that the students' academics are not affected.

The suicide has triggered protests from students even as Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya and the VC were named in an FIR in this regard.

In a statement issued here a day after the Dalit PhD scholar Rohit Vemula was found hanging in a hostel room on the campus, the varsity mentioned the sequence of events since August last year.

"The Executive Council determined not to affect the students' academics and taking a lenient view, decided to only suspend the students from their hostels and curb their involvement in public gatherings unlike complete suspension as suggested in the Proctorial Board report," the statement added.

The deceased was among the five research scholars who were suspended by Hyderabad Central University (HCU) in August last year and also one of the accused in the case of assault on a student leader.

The varsity has offered its "deepest sympathies and condolences for the unfortunate demise" of Rohit.

The EC (executive council) sub-committee was constituted by present Vice Chancellor Appa Rao and was chaired by Prof. Vipin Srivastava, it said.

"In the month of August, there was a fight involving students of the Ambedkar Students' Association (ASA) and Susheel Kumar of Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) which eventually reached the court.

"With regard to this incident, the Proctorial Board of the University was asked to submit a report with suggestions of the quantum of punishment, following which five students were suspended," it said.

The statement said the then VC RP Sharma had held a meeting of deans and heads of departments after the students of ASA claimed lapses in the inquiry by the Proctorial Board.

"The meeting debated the merits of the Proctorial Board's decision and eventually the suspension of the students was revoked pending review by the newly formed Prof. Sudhakar Reddy committee," it stated.

The statement further said the Reddy Committee members expressed lack of power to review the decision by a statutory body like the Proctorial board and further suggested that the then VC convene an Executive Council meeting to look into the same.

"Meanwhile, the matter was taken to the court by Susheel Kumar's mother," the statement said.

"It was around this time that Prof Appa Rao came in as the Vice Chancellor and after almost a month of him assuming the office, the court ruled that the varsity should implement the Proctorial Board's decision before filing a counter," it added.

The varsity said it had used possible mechanisms to address the problem under the given circumstances.

"The court's decision is expected tomorrow and the unfortunate incident occurred even before the court verdict, leaving the University in a state of extreme shock and sadness," the statement added.