Podile Appa Rao, the vice chancellor of the University of Hyderabad who was forced to go on leave following the suicide of Dalit student Rohith Vemula, was removed from a position under the Ministry of Human Resource Development on Thursday. Rao had been made the Chairman of the National Council of Rural Institutes, an autonomous body that falls under the ministry. The Hindu reported that the current vice chancellor, M Periasamy, was appointed to the post with immediate effect.
Rao went on leave on January 24, and is not expected to return till the completion of an inquiry into Vemula’s suicide. Rao said that he did not apply for the post at NCRI, and it was given to him by the ministry. He was named in an FIR filed on Rohith Vemula’s suicide, after students said Rao was involved in caste discrimination against Vemula and four others. Union minister Bandaru Dattatreya was also named as an accused in the case, along with Rao. Students protested over the issue after Vemula’s death, but resumed classes earlier this week.