Pro-Rohith Vemula students detained in Delhi
New Delhi, Jan 17 (IANS) About 250-300 students, staging a demonstration here to mark the first death anniversary of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula, were on Tuesday detained when they blocked the crucial Janpath road in Connaught Place area of New Delhi, police said.
Following a protest call from JNU Students’ Union, around 1,000 students from the JNU, Delhi University, and the Jamia Milia Islamia, among other universities, took out a rally from Mandi House, intending to go to Ministry of Human Resource Department (MHRD), only to be faced with elaborate barricading at Janpath.
The police corralled the students at the red light near Janpath Metro Station and ferried them in three buses to Parliament Street Police Station.
Rohith Vemula, a PhD scholar at Hyderabad University, committed suicide on this day last year. In his suicide letter, he accused the university administration of persecution and discrimination on the basis of caste.
Earlier in 2016, his fellowship was stopped as a disciplinary action following a dispute between him and ABVP members over the screening of a documentary ‘Muzaffarnagar Abhi Baaki Hai’.
He was a member of Ambedkar Students Association (ASA) which held a screening of the documentary at the university campus. The ABVP members reportedly disrupted the screening and called it anti-Hindu.
The protesting students on Tuesday were demanding an enquiry into the suicide and termed it as an ‘institutional murder’. They also demanded registering of cases against university Vice Chancellor P. Appa Rao for neglecting his duty and doing nothing to defuse tensions.
Scores of students were also arrested in Hyderabad when, defying ban orders, they tried to enter the University of Hyderabad campus to pay tribute to Rohith and take part in a meeting.