Dalit leaders portraits destruction at Hyderabad uni, students to protest on Jan 17
Some students of University of Hyderabad (UoH) and outfits under the 'Rohith Vemula Struggle and Solidarity Committee' banner Monday gave a call for 'Chalo HCU' for January 17 against 'destruction' of portraits of Dr B R Ambedkar, Jyotiba Phule and other Dalit leaders.
A decision in this connection was taken at a round table meeting organised by the Committee, which blamed UoH Vice-Chancellor Apparao Podile for destroying the portraits on the varsity's premises and alleged that there was continuous harassment of Dalit students on the campus. Representatives of various student bodies and different organisations in a release condemned what they termed as 'atrocious' acts of the VC, demanded his removal from the post and his arrest.
On January 7, some students had staged protests against the removal of 'Velivada,' a temporary structure erected to commemorate the death anniversary of Rohith Vemula, a research scholar who committed suicide on January 17, 2016, on the campus. On its part, the University had said the structure had fallen apart under weather conditions over the last three years and that some students had attempted to resurrect it with fresh flexi material.
The suicide of Rohith Vemula, a PhD scholar at the UoH, also known as Hyderabad Central University (HCU), had sparked nationwide protests and opposition parties had blamed groups affiliated to the BJP and the RSS for his suicide. "Disturbances are being created to students in order to prevent them from demanding Justice for Rohith Vemula and curb the meeting to be organised in memory of Rohith Vemula (Rohith Vemulas third death anniversary), they said.
The students alleged that there was an undeclared emergency in the campus with continuous harassment of Dalit students fighting for justice for Rohith Vemula. However, the University has rejected allusions to or accusations of any systematic, institutional discrimination against SC/ST students.
(With inputs from agencies.)