4 Suspended from Andhra Varsity Hostel Over Pro-Amaravati Protest
A notice said that the students were “suspended from hostels for their participation in anti-govt activities.”
Four students of the Acharya Nagarjuna University (ANU) in Guntur were suspended from the university hostel on Saturday, 1 February, for being associated with the APJAC (Andhra Pradesh Joint Action Committee) for Amaravati. The JAC has been protesting against the shifting of the state capital from Amaravati to Visakhapatnam.
A suspension notice issued by Chief Warden D Ramchandran under the orders of the vice-chancellor said that the students were “suspended from the university hostels with immediate effect for their participation in anti-government activities.”
The notice goes on to specify that the students were found participating in “the anti-government activities of APJAC for Amaravati.”
‘Don’t They Have the Right to Peaceful Protest?’: TDP MP
The students have been asked to appear in front of the university disciplinary committee, which will decide the period of punishment after seeking explanation from the students.
Of the four suspended students, two are from the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, while the other two are from the Department of English.
While the students have been unavailable for comment on the issue, TDP MP Jayadev Galla has come out in their support.
Condemning the students’ suspension, TDP MP Jayadev Galla wrote on Twitter, “ANU suspending four students for participating in pro-Amaravati programme. and calling them anti-government is highly condemnable. Two of them are pursuing journalism. First, don't they have the right to peaceful protest? Second, isn't the role of a journalist to question wrong decisions of government?"
According to The New Indian Express, ANU officials said that the students had participated in a protest against shifting of the capital recently organised by APJAC at the university.
The TDP students’ wing, Telugu Nadu Students Federation (TNSF), has also come out in support for the students, calling for a ‘Chalo Nagarjuna University’ rally if the suspension orders are not revoked. TNSF state president Brahmam Choudhury said that the V-C was acting like a government stooge by suspending students for voicing their opinions. “The V-C’s behaviour makes one question whether we are in a democracy or a dictatorship,” Choudhury said.
(This story was first published in The News Minute and has been republished with permission.)
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