On Saturday, students of the Joint Action Committee at the Hyderabad Central University sat in protest at the front gate after their tents at Velivada (Dalit ghetto) were forcefully removed under instructions from Vice-Chancellor Appa Rao Podile.

Velivada was ordered to be removed on May 24 according to the JAC. The university had put out an order by Appa Rao on that day, stating that students are “advised” to remove the “unauthorised” tents and structures from the shopping complex (on the campus) within 48 hours, the Indian Express reported. The JAC alleged that the order by the VC was basically a threat to the students.

The makeshift shed was set up by Rohith Vemula along with the four other students who were suspended by the university in December. It had since then become the site for students protests. Along with the tents, posters of Ambedkar, and the preamble of the Constitution were also torn down, students alleged.

After its forceful removal yesterday students shifted their protest to the main gate.

“We have blocked the main gate. We will not let the university function if they deny our constitutional right to protest. Varsity authorities have removed tents at Velivada and banners bearing Ambedkar’s quotes and images. We will not end this blockade… we will not tolerate this insult to Justice For Rohit Struggle,” JAC member Arpita told the Indian Express.

In the video below, protester Dontha Prashanth talks about the current situation in the university and condemns the “communal atmosphere” being created there. Prashanth says the protest will go on until the V-C is sacked and arrested for the murder of Rohith Vemula.