HCU: Student unions allow classes to resume amid stir

RSTV Bureau
Students artistes making a clay model of the research scholar Rohith Vemula at Hyderabad University in Hyderabad Photo-PTI

Students artistes making a clay model of the research scholar Rohith Vemula at Hyderabad University in Hyderabad
Photo-PTI

After two weeks of protests over the suicide of dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula, classes have finally resumed at the Hyderabad Central University. The decision to resume classes was taken at a meeting held by university’s in-charge VC Periasamy on Sunday.

However, the protesting students have agreed to resume classes only on several conditions.

“We had a meeting with student (JAC) representatives. They agreed to allow regular functioning from tomorrow. This is a conditional agreement,” Periasamy said on Sunday after the meeting.

“They wanted that some of the individuals involved in this punishment (suspension of Vemula and four others over alleged assault on an ABVP leader) should not be in the decision-making body or the administration, and all the SC/ST faculty members who have quit the administrative duties should resume their duties. We agreed to that,” he added.

Among others, the students have categorically said that they do not want Vice Chancellor Appa Rao and interim Vice Chancellor Vipin Srivastava to be part of the university administration. The students have also demanded that the HRD ministry must take action against those people who they believe were responsible for Rohith’s suicide.

“The University of Hyderabad must give a public apology to the five dalit research scholars for the blatant casteist discrimination, humiliation and agony inflicted on them that eventually led to the death of our friend Rohith Vemula,” JAC said in a statement on Sunday.

The students’ body has also demanded a job for one of the members of the Vemula family.

The JAC (Joint Action Committee) was formed as an umbrella grouping of 14 students’ groups who were protesting to bring justice to the dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula.

Meanwhile, the three university students who were sitting on an indefinite fast were forcefully shifted to a hospital on Sunday, when their fast entered the third day.

Rohith Vemula had hanged himself in one of the hostel rooms at the Hyderabad Central University campus on January 17. His death triggered a political slug-fest as Vemula had alleged atrocity by college authorities against dalit students. Vemula and four other students, all from the dalit community, were suspended by the university last year for allegedly attacking an ABVP leader.

(With inputs from PTI)