Dalit student death: Protests spread to more cities

Tuesday, Jan 19, 2016,13:51 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Hyderabad/Pune | Protests over the alleged suicide by a Dalit research scholar escalated in Hyderabad and Delhi today and also spread to other cities including Pune, Chennai and Gandhinagar with the incident being described as an institutional murder.
The activists of TJYF (Telengana Jagruti Youth Front), a cultural outfit headed by TRS MP Kalvakuntla Kavitha, raised slogans outside the house of Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya at Ram Nagar in Hyderabad and blamed him for the death of PhD scholar Rohit Vemula from Hyderabad Central University, who was found hanging in his hostel room on Sunday,  Holding placards, the protestors demanded that the minister, who has been booked in the case, should resign immediately.
Thirty seven of the protesters were taken into preventive custody when they held a dharna near the Union Minister’s house, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central Zone) V B Kamalasan Reddy said.
On the university campus, scores of students, who intensified their protests, demanded that Dattatreya, BJP MLC Ramchander Rao, university’s Vice Chancellor P Appa Rao and two ABVP leaders, against whom cases were registered for abetting suicide of Rohit, be jailed.  Raising slogans like We want justice, they held Dattatreya and others responsible for Rohits death and took out a rally on the campus.
Telangana BJP spokesperson Prakash Reddy faced the wrath of agitating students at the HCU when he was leaving the campus after participating in a TV debate.
A group of students rushed to Reddy’s car and raised slogans against Dattatreya and HRD Minister Smriti Irani and his party. A window of Reddy’s car was broken during the protests.
In the national capital, youth wings of various parties including AAP and Congress took to streets demanding resignation of Irani and Dattatreya.
While protesters from Congress affiliated National Students Union of India (NSUI) marched to HRD ministry shouting slogans against the government, those from AAP’s Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh Samiti  (CYSS) staged a demonstration at Jantar Mantar
The students of prestigious Film and Television Institute of India(FTII) in Pune sat on a day-long hunger strike outside the institute’s gate in solidarity with the protesting students in Hyderabad.
We feel that the unfortunate incident like death of Rohit Vemula is an institutional murder, said a students’ body representative Yashaswi Mishra.
Protests were held by workers of Congress and Left parties in Chennai where members of the Scheduled Caste wing of TNCC led by K Selvaperunthagai tried to picket the Shastri Bhavan here, which houses a number of central government offices. About 65 Congress workers were detained, police said.
In Gujarat, around 50 dalit students of Central University of Gujarat (CUG) held a peaceful protest in Gandhinagar while in Punjab, the activists of Punjab Ambedkar Sena Moolnivasi took out a protest march in Phagwara and burnt effigy of Irani and demanded sacking of Dattatreya over the suicide.

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