Rohith Vemula suicide: SC/ST group holds ‘protest day’ in HCU
In the wake of the alleged suicide of Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula, the SC/ST Employees Welfare Association of the Hyderabad Central University (HCU) on Friday organised a 'protest day'.
The 'SC/ST Teachers Forum and Concerned Teachers' also continued their relay hunger strike, which they had started on Thursday.
The members of the forum have written to President Pranab Mukherjee, visitor of the university, regarding their demand for removal of Vice-Chancellor Appa Rao Podile and seeking that in-charge VC Vipin Srivastava should step down from the post, a representative of the Joint Action Committee for Social Justice said.
The JAC, under whose banner the agitation by the students is being led, said a candlelight vigil would be organised on Friday, on the eve of the birthday of research scholar Rohith Vemula, who allegedly committed suicide in a hostel room on January 17.
Another group of students is also slated to start an indefinite fast in support of their demands on Friday.
The JAC has called for mass hunger strike in universities across the country to express solidarity with the agitation on the HCU campus.
Two batches of students had earlier held an indefinite fast at the protest site in HCU. However, they were shifted to hospitals following concerns over their health.
The JAC plans to undertake a visit to Delhi in the first week of February to meet the President to press for their demands, the JAC representative said.
The JAC's main demands include bringing in a 'Rohith Act' to prevent any injustice to students of marginalised sections in the university, and forming a committee to look into the issues of alleged caste and academic biases in varsities across the country in the last 20 years.