The Students Federation of India (SFI) is protesting outside the Human Resource and Development (HRD) Ministry in the national capital to vent their ire over the untoward incident in the University of Hyderabad where a Dalit scholar committed suicide by hanging himself. The police personnel deployed on duty to control the agitating students used water cannons to bring the situation under control, ANI reported on Monday.
"We believe this is a murder not suicide and those involved in this like HU administration, the goons of ABVP and the MHRD, everyone should be punished. Even the BJP MP from Telangana should be punished," said Sadvik Karan Singh, one of the protestors. "This is a murder which has been committed by the government, the RSS and by the goons of ABVP and BJP. We totally oppose this," said another protestor Prakash.
One of the five dalit scholars, expelled from the University of Hyderabad 12 days ago, hanged himself to death last night. 25-year-old Rohith Vemula, who belonged to Guntur district of Amravati, was doing his PhD in science technology and society studies for the past two years, before the scholar allegedly got involved in a tiff between two student groups in August last year.
The five researchers were supported by 10 other students' outfits on the campus including ASA, Students Federation of India, Dalit Students Union and National Students Association among others. On Sunday, the students from each of the outfits had started relay hunger strike asking the university administration to take back the students all of whom hailed from backward socio-economic backgrounds. The students protested against Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani and Minister of State for Labour and Employment Bandaru Dattatreya.
The students demanded the revoking of the suspension of the five Dalit research scholars. They also demanded Dattatreya's apology for interfering in University matters and branding the students of University of Hyderabad as casteists, anti-nationals and extremists.