Hyderabad: Hyderabad University's incharge Vice Chancellor Vipin Srivastava, accused by the SC/ST faculty of having a "deep involvement" in the death of a dalit student in 2008, today said "the previous matter was sorted out" even as he termed the situation in the aftermath of Rohit Vemula's suicide as a "communication gap".
The senior professor, who was named as officiating VC today after the sitting VC Appa Rao Podile went on leave following the outrage over the death of the dalit research scholar, said pacifying the agitated students and resuming the academic and administrative works of the varsity will be his first priority.
"The Vice-Chancellor has gone on leave (and) (as per) a statute, a senior professor takes over as incharge VC," he said.
When asked about the allegations made against him by the SC/ST Faculty Forum and SC/ST Officers Forum that he was one of the "accused" in the 2008 suicide case of dalit student Senthil, Srivastava said, "That matter has been sorted out." On present situation on the varsity campus where students have launched an indefinite relay hunger strike seeking the removal of Podile and Rs 50 lakh compensation to Rohit's family, Srivastava said, "Through discussions we will sort out all the issues. It is a communication gap". "Ministry of HRD has already announced on setting up a Judicial Commission (to inquire into the death of Rohit Vemula).
"Now, we need to first pacify the protesting students and restart the administrative and academic works. Fellowships of several research scholars are pending which needs to be processed besides salaries of Class-IV employees also need to be paid and several others works need to be taken up. For the past several days there has been no works going on. We need to pacify and explain the students on this," Srivastava added.