Protests escalated on Monday at the Hyderabad Central University (HCU) with the National Students Union of India (NSUI) joining the protests over the suicide of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula, saying that after ‘Chalo HCU’, it would be ‘Chalo Dilli’.
“Today it is ‘Chalo HCU’, in coming days we will gather students in Delhi as well and do ‘Chalo Dilli’. We will ‘gherao’ the Parliament later. This protest will continue all across the country. NSUI is fully supporting this movement. Our students are sitting on hunger strike today also. This is fight for the self-respect of students, fight for social justice,” said NSUI president Roji John.
He further stated that the matter has become a student’s movement and it would continue till HRD Minister Smriti Irani, Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya and the Vice Chancellor P. Appa Rao are removed from their positions.
An indefinite fast launched by a fresh batch of seven students over the suicide continued in the University for the second day even as agitators called for a ‘ Chalo HCU’ protest march to press their demands.
The stir resumed yesterday after the previous group of seven fasting students were shifted to the hospital on Saturday following deterioration in their health condition after three days of hunger strike.
Students and the SC/ST faculty and officers forums have objected to senior professor Vipin Srivastava taking over as interim vice-chancellor.
The university announced on Sunday that vice-chancellor P. Appa Rao had taken a leave of absence as protests heightened on the campus.
Meanwhile, Rohith’s mother was admitted to a private hospital on Monday after she complained of chest pain.
Various student groups have been protesting over the issue in the national capital since last week.
Rohith Vemula, a Dalit PhD scholar, was found hanging at the Central University’s hostel room on January 17.
He was among the five research scholars who were suspended by Hyderabad Central University (HCU) in August last year and also one of the accused in the case of assault on an ABVP student leader. They were also kept out of the hostel.
The suspension was revoked later.