Protest escalates in Hyderabad varsity

Protest escalates in Hyderabad varsity

Student suicide: Demand for case under SC/ST Atrocities Act grows

Protest escalates in Hyderabad varsity

Protests against the death of 26-year-old Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula intensified at the University of Hyderabad here on Tuesday.

While the four other Dalit students who were expelled from the hostel continued their struggle for the 16th day by sleeping outside,  many students joined in the three-day old relay hunger strike next to the Velivada (Dalit Ghetto) erected by Rohith and others.
“We will continue to boycott classes till the culprits are punished,” said one of the students.

Tougher charges

The students have been demanding cases under SC/ST Atrocities Act against Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, vice-chancellor Apparao, proctorial committee chairperson Alok Pandey, ABVP campus unit president Susheel Kumar and BJP MLC Ramachandra Rao.

They are demanding Rs 5 cr compensation for Rohith’s family, job for one person from the immediate family at the campus, revoking the rustication order on four students and false cases filed on student leaders. The students who found support from their counterparts from Osmania University organised several rallies throughout the day.

The Joint Action Committee for Social Justice, which invited Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi to address the gathering, tried to distance itself from political parties.

The student leaders urged student speakers not to politicise the issue and only speak about the Dalit cause and the sinister plans of Brahminical forces trying to keep Dalits and minorities away from higher education.

The two-member HRD Ministry committee, comprising OSD Shakila T Shamsu and Deputy Secretary Surat Singh, have commenced their fact-finding mission on the campus on Tuesday. The committee members spoke with non-teaching and teaching staff of the university and sought details of the incidents that led to the suspension of five students.

“We are here to hear from you and not address you,” Shakila told the students that met her. She said that the committee will receive written complaints or facts about the incident till 7pm on Tuesday as they have to get back to Delhi and submit their report.

National Commission for Scheduled Castes chairman P L Punia was also present at the proceedings and told reporters that the commission would take up the issue seriously.

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