HRD swiftly acts on JNU Dalit scholar's suicide threat

HRD swiftly acts on JNU Dalit scholar's suicide threat

HRD swiftly acts on JNU Dalit scholar's suicide threat

The Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry has asked the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) administration to ‘promptly address’ the grievance of a Dalit PhD scholar, who on Monday threatened to commit suicide if his senior research fellowship was not resumed within a week.

In a communication to the JNU registrar, the Ministry also sought “reply/comments” from the varsity on the Dalit scholar’s accusation that he was being “discriminated against and harassed” by the Centre for International Politics, Organisation and Disarmament (CIPOD), official sources told Deccan Herald.

The Ministry wrote to the university registrar on Tuesday evening and sent a reminder on Wednesday, seeking a reply from the varsity administration. A senior official of the Ministry also spoke to the registrar over phone on Wednesday, suggesting “prompt” action to address the “genuine” grievances of the Dalit student, sources added.

The developments came at a time when students of JNU and Delhi university were up in arms to express solidarity with the students of Central university of Hyderabad after Rohith Vemula, a Dalit scholar, committed suicide on January 17.

They are demanding resignation of HRD Minister Smriti Irani and Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, accusing them of being responsible for Vemula’s suicide.

A large number of students of JNU and Delhi University on Wednesday took out a protest march under the banners of Krantikari Yuva Sangathan (KYS) and Left-backed All India Students Association (AISA). About 60 of them were detained by the police.

Letter accuses

In a letter to vice chancellor S K Sopory on January 25, the Dalit researcher was reported to have accused the CIPOD of “deliberately” not granting him one-year extension to which he was entitled to.

“If you do not provide my remaining SRF of one year within one week, then I will commit suicide in front of administrative bloc, JNU, New Delhi. For this death, you and JNU will be responsible,” he reportedly stated in his letter to the VC, who demitted office on Tuesday on expiry of his five-year term.