Hyderabad: UoH students clash over Kashmir issue


Hyderabad: A scuffle broke out between two groups of students on the campus of University of Hyderabad (UoH) here after a meeting on "Kashmir situation". A group of Kashmiri students were maintaining a vigil over the Kashmir unrest, following which a brawl reportedly began, with some students alleging that ABVP members attacked them. AVBP has denied the allegations and said that they were instead attacked by the students supporting Kashmiris.

UoH Pro Vice-Chancellor Vipin Srivastava told to a news agency that a group of around 15 students and two faculty members gathered at the shopping complex on the campus last evening and conducted a meeting on "Kashmir issue", even though the University Security Officer asked them not to hold any kind of meeting.

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"Despite requests by the security officer, the meeting continued with speeches. Later, another section of students, objected to the meeting and a scuffle broke out resulting in minor injuries to two or three of them (from both the groups)," Srivastava said.

He said things are under control and that "we are keenly observing the situation". In his complaint, Amol Singh, an MPhil student of the varsity has alleged that a group of 30 students belonging to ABVP "brutally" attacked him last night resulting in injuries to him while the ABVP members in turn alleged that Singh and his friends assaulted them causing fracture to leg of one Kailasam.

ABVP leader Nandanam Susheel Kumar, who has been accused of abetting suicide of dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula in January, lodged a complaint with Miyapur Police accusing Singh and his friends of beating him and other ABVP members. However, in a cross complaint lodged with Gachibowli Police, Singh alleged that Kumar and others hit him with punches and kicks on the campus and later again attacked him while he was near a hospital.

"Around 30 ABVP students led by Susheel Kumar, took out a bike rally raising 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' slogan and they abused me and beat me up near the hostel. I was later taken to a hospital by my friends. They mistook to me to a Kashmiri student and assaulted me," Singh claimed. However, Kumar alleged that the group of students raised separatists slogans after the meeting on Kashmir issue following which they objected to it.

The police remain tight-lipped about the incident, though an official merely said there was some altercation, but refused to elaborate. "Classes are starting from and new students are also joining and I want to reassure the parents of the wards nothing to worry about," Srivastava said in his appeal. UoH, also known as HCU, has been witnessing sporadic protests since Vemula's death with a section of students demanding dismissal of Vice-Chancellor Appa Rao Podile who is amongst those booked for abetment of Vemula's suicide.

In the meantime, the Joint Action Committee for Social Justice (UoH), which is spearheading the protests over Vemula's death, organised protests and took out a rally at the varsity to mark "six months of institutional murder of Rohit Vemula". Holding placards they demanded immediate arrest of Appa Rao Podile and others booked in connection with Vemula's death, besides swift enactment of Rohit Act to provide legislative protection to students from marginalised sections of society.

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