Students seek justice for Rohit, walk out of classes

Classes at Manasagangotri, the postgraduate campus of the University of Mysore, was force suspended on Tuesday, following a Statewide universities bandh call given by Rohit Vemula Para Nyayakkagi Horata Samiti (Joint Struggle Committee for Justice for Rohit Vemula).

Hundreds of students, who went to every department on the campus, appealed to the faculty to suspend classes, before asking the students to support them for a cause. Students walked out of the classes on their own, and the library was also closed.

The agitators, who took out a two-wheeler rally in the camps to ensure that all the classes are suspended for the day, gathered in front of the newly built Centenary Clock Tower and formed a human chain to block the path of vehicles.

The protesters demanded the arrest of those responsible for the death of Vemula, a research scholar at the Central University of Hyderabad, who committed suicide recently. The organisation that forced Vemula to take the extreme step should be brought to justice by arresting the office-bearers. The vice-chancellor of the varsity in question should be sacked, they said.

The agitators also demanded action against HRD Minister Smriti Irani and local MP Bandaru Dattatreya, who bred the suffocating atmosphere that claimed Vemula’s life. The next of kin of Vemula should be given a compensation of Rs 50 lakh and a government job, they added.

The other demands include withdrawal of cases registered against students, who staged protests across the country in support of Vemula, checking Brahmin influence on higher education, stipend of Rs 5,000 for research scholars from economically weaker sections and Dalits, convening of a joint meeting chaired by chief minister, ministers concerned and student leaders, and necessary grants for universities and sanctioning of adequate staff.

The two-wheeler rally then reached the Deputy Commissioner’s office, where a memorandum addressed to Rashtrapati Bhavan was submitted. 

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