Rahul to celebrate Rohith's birthday at UoH

Congress vice-president will take part in a candlelight vigil

Rahul to celebrate Rohith's birthday at UoH

For the second time in ten days, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi will join protesters at University of Hyderabad campus gearing up to celebrate Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula’s birthday on Saturday.

Congress sources said Rahul will arrive on a special flight late on Friday and spend the night with the protestors at the UoH campus. On Saturday, he would join them to celebrate the birthday of Rohit, who would have turned 27.

The Congress leader will take part in a candle light vigil and interact with students before leaving for Delhi Saturday afternoon. Rahul was in UoH on January 19 demanding the immediate removal of the Vice Chancellor and making HRD Minister Smriti Irani and MoS for Bandaru Dattatreya accountable for Rohit’s suicide.

Students are preparing to mark Rohith’s birthday on Saturday as mass hunger day. JAC for Social Justice has also called for hunger strikes across universities in the country to express solidarity with UoH.

SC/ST and other concerned teachers continued their relay hunger strike they began on Thursday. Two batches of students who went on an indefinite fast at the protest site were shifted to hospital following concerns over their health.

The JAC would visit Delhi in February first week to meet with the President and press for their demands, including bringing a “Rohith” Act to prevent injustices to students from marginalised backgrounds and to form a committee to probe alleged caste and academic bias in varsity campuses in the last 20 years.

Efforts by UoH interim VC Vipin Srivastava to begin negotiations with the students failed as protestors raised slogans against him and refuse his offer of dialogue.

Except for a few research scholars who cannot afford delays due to their nature of research, the JAC has said the varsity will not return to normal functioning until their demands were met.

A group of UoH students belonging to AISF who tried demonstrating before Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s camp office at Begunpet asking him to speak out against Rohit’ s suicide were detained.

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