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Rahul Gandhi joins protest march for Rohith Vemula, Interim Hyderabad varsity VC replaced

Rahul Gandhi joins protest march for Rohith Vemula, Interim Hyderabad varsity VC replaced

In a dramatic turn of events, Dr Vipin Srivastava who took charge as the interim Vice-Chancellor of Hyderabad Central University went on leave and a new interim VC took charge in his place on Friday.

Hyderabad: There is no end to politics over the alleged suicide of Dalit student Rohith Vemula, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi reached Hyderabad Central University campus late on Friday night and joined a midnight candlelight march along with the students of Hyderabad Central University (HCU) who were on a 18-hour-mass hunger strike.

Gandhi spoke to the agitating students late on Friday night and has joined the hunger strike movement. National Students Union of India (NHUI) National president Roji M John said, Rahul Gandhi will sit in the hunger strike from 6 am to 6pm today.

As the students raised slogans against HRD minister Smrithi Irani and Union Labour Minister Bandarau Dattatre, Rahul intervened and politely told them not to shout 'murdabad'. "Let us not say murdabad to somebody. That will not do justice," he said.

Three of the students including two research scholars who were earlier suspended, sat on fast unto death demanding the fulfilment of their demands such as sacking and arresting of V-C Appa Rao Podile and dropping of Smrithi Irani and Bandaru Dattaretreya from the cabinet among others.

About 2,000 students organised a candle light march in the campus on the intervening night of Friday and Saturday. This is Rahul's second visit to Hyderabad since Vemula was found hanging in the varsity's hostel room.

The Congress vice-president had visited the University on January 19 following the suicide by the Dalit scholar and met the agitating students and the family members of Vemula.

Meanwhile, in a dramatic turn of events, Dr Vipin Srivastava who took charge as the interim Vice-Chancellor of Hyderabad Central University (HCU) went on leave and a new interim VC took charge in his place on Friday.

"Dr Vipin Srivastava who took charge as the interim Vice-Chancellor of Hyderabad Central University has proceeded for leave from the afternoon of January 29 and the next senior most professor Dr M Pariasamy will perform the duties of the V-C till further orders," a university official said. The reasons behind his leave are not immediately clear.

Srivastava was appointed as the interim VC on January 24 after V-C Appa Rao Podile went on leave amid protest from the student community over the death of Rohith Vemula.

first published:January 30, 2016, 08:21 IST