Rohith suicide: SC, ST teachers to go on hunger strike from tomorrow in HCU

The 6 protesting students have been moved to a health care facility.

Hyderabad: Tension prevailed at the University of Hyderabad on Wednesday as students protestors held a roadblock on the Old Mumbai highway demanding suspension of the Vice Chancellor and the interim VC over suicide of Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula.

26-year-old Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula who hanged himself in Hyderabad Central University campus, was suspended from his hostel by the HCU administration in August last year for allegedly attacking an ABVP leader.

Read: Only partial suspension on Rohith, 3 others imposed, HCU tells High Court

The protests resulted in traffic snarls along stretches from Kondapur village to Serilingampally until it was cleared by the police.

After the police intervention, the students took the protests inside the campus, where they marched to the residence of the interim VC, and burnt effigies of VC professor Appa Rao and Union Minister Smrithi Irani.

Read: Police books Bandaru Dattatreya for Hyderabad scholar Rohith’s suicide

The Joint Action Committee (JAC) for Social Justice, that has been steering the protests, also held a massive rally inside the campus with slogans ‘VC down down’ ‘Step down the VC,’ and ‘We want Justice’.

Meanwhile, six of the seven students on hunger strike have been shifted to a health centre.

The students, who had given a nationwide university strike call, marched to the residence of the interim head of the institution and then went outside the campus and burnt the effigy of the Vice-chancellor, whose ouster they have been seeking.

"Six (students) were shifted (to the health centre) yesterday", Ravindra Kumar, chief medical officer said. One student is continuing with the hunger strike, which resumed three days back after the first batch of his colleagues who went on fast were moved to the health centre.

Read: University of Hyderabad: Caution the buzz word

Speaking at gathering at shopping complex, HCU faculty members, professors and teachers from SC, ST teachers’ forum, contract employees and non-teaching staff promised students for their support until they obtain justice.

The SC, ST teachers’ forum announced that they would take part in the hunger strike from Thursday demanding the resignation of Vice Chancellor Prof. Appa Rao.

Forum leaders Professors V Krishna, K Laxminarayana, Sripathi Ramudu and

others told media that they have given a notice in this regard to the registrar of the university.

They demanded that interim VC Vipin Srivatsava also be removed. “He was faced allegations during the death of a dalith student Senthil Kumar in 2008 and he was one of the members in the committee which recommended the suspension of five students including Rohit Vemula. Now, a judicial enquiry will be taken up and the VC or interim VC are the authorities from the UoH who have to give explanation. We strongly say that if the persons who are facing allegation will not give a justification to our struggle during judicial enquiry,” they said.

Sripathi Ramudu told Deccan Chronicle that they would decide whether go for relay hunger strike or indefinite hunger strike by Thursday morning. “We demand the resignation of VC and incumbent VC in order to resume academic and administration activities,” he said.

The JAC for Social Justice, an umbrella of student groups, have also called a 'all universities bandh' to demand the arrest of central ministers Smriti Irani, Bandaru Dattatreya, Vice Chancellor Appa Rao and others, blaming them for the "institutional murder" of Vemula.

The JAC has also condemned the appointment of Vipin Srivastava as the interim vice chancellor as he headed a sub-committee of the executive council, which suspended Vemula and four other students.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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