PM’s statement insulting, say Hyderabad varsity students

Hyderabad, Jan 23 (IANS) Student groups protesting in the University of Hyderabad over the suicide of a Dalit research scholar termed as “highly insulting” Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement in which he described Rohith Vemula as ‘Bharat Mata’s son’.

The Joint Action Committee (JAC) for social justice, an umbrella of 14 student groups, condemned what it called ‘appropriation of Rohith’s politics’.

“Rohith Vemula and other socially boycotted (research scholars) always stood against Hindutva and Manuvadi politics which the BJP ministers proudly stand for,” the JAC said in a statement on Saturday, a day after Modi broke his silence on the issue.

JAC, which continued its protest on the campus, wanted to know if Modi will take action against BJP ministers for the injustice meted out to Rohith and other research scholars.

The indefinite hunger strike by seven students entered the fourth day on Saturday while four suspended Dalit students and others also continued their protest.

JAC said police and the university administration are about to forcefully evict them from the protest site and appealed to students to reach there in large numbers.

JAC has also called for ‘Chalo Hyderabad Central University’ on January 25 and appealed to students, workers, activists, intellectuals and other progressive and democratic sections of the society to reach the university.

It has decided to continue the protest till all the culprits responsible for the death of Rohith and the injustice meted out to all the five Dalit research scholars are punished.

It is demanding that central minister Bandaru Dattaetreya, Vice Chancellor Appa Rao and others be punished under the SC/ST Atrocities Act.

It is also seeking the sacking of the vice chancellor. Other demands include Rs.50 lakh compensation to Rohith’s family and employment for one family member.

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