Mahatma, Rohith killed by same forces: Rahul

Mahatma, Rohith killed by same forces: Rahul

Cong leader on a day-long fast with agitating students

Mahatma, Rohith killed by same forces: Rahul
“It’s the same forces that killed Mahatma Gandhi,” said a combative Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi who on Saturday undertook a day-long fast along with the agitating students on the University of Hyderabad (UoH) campus protesting the suicide of Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula.

At the Dalit Ghetto, he addressed the students who sat with him for mass hunger strike to commemorate Rohith’s birthday.

 Rahul said certain forces do not want the young minds to think differently. “Mahatma Gandhi was eliminated because he had his vision of India,” he said, adding that Rohith also had his own dream.

“I urge the prime minister to bring in a legislation to ensure freedom of thinking in all Indian educational institutions. An act to guarantee freedom of expression for the marginalised and women. The Digital India, the startups won’t work if people are divided on the basis of caste, colour or creed,” he added.

The AICC vice-president who had visited the campus for the second time in 10 days, participated in a candlelight vigil in the early hours along with over 2,000 students to mark the birth anniversary of Rohith who would have turned 27 on Saturday.

The Congress leader flew down from New Delhi by flight shortly after midnight, drove straight to the campus at Gachibowli, interacted with the protestors and Rohith’s family members and expressed solidarity with them.

“A young life full of dreams and aspirations was cut short. We owe it to him, to the memory of Gandhiji and to every single Indian student who dreams of an India free from prejudice and injustice,” Rahul tweeted.

After spending a couple of hours with the agitating students and participating in the candle light vigil, he returned to the campus in the morning to commence the fast in support of the demands of the Joint Action Committee for Social Justice, a conglomeration of 14 student organisations.

V-C goes on leave
Hours before the arrival of Rahul, the university authorities announced that acting vice-chancellor Srivastava has proceeded on leave and in his absence, M Periasamy, a Dalit professor from the School of Chemistry will hold the charge. “I am like a grandfather to the students. I have sympathy for them but I am bound by rules. I will speak to them and convince them to return to classes,” Periasamy told media.
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