Grief, Rage, Disbelief: How Events Have Unfolded Since Rohith Vemula’s Death

Posted on January 19, 2016 in Campus Watch, News, Taboos

By Nazeef Mollah:

At 7:30 pm on Sunday Rohith Vemula committed suicide by hanging himself with a banner of the group he was part of – the Ambedkar Students Association. Students at the University of Hyderabad had been protesting the suspension of five Dalit research students including Rohith demanding, among other things, the revocation of their suspension.

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Rohith Vemula. Source: Rohith Vemula’s Facebook profile
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Suspended students leaving the hostel. Source: Photo Shared on Joint Action Committee for Social Justice -UoH Facebook page
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Photo Shared on Joint Action Committee for Social Justice -UoH Facebook page

The Joint Action Committee for Social Justice – UoH called for a protest on the next day. To deal with the violence on campus Section 144 was imposed in the University.

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Photo Shared on Joint Action Committee for Social Justice -UoH Facebook page

Several others in support have since been organised in other parts of India. Students at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences led a march in Mumbai. Around 70 students in Delhi from various organisations were detained after violent protests near Shastri Bhavan in the national capital. No stringent steps, however, have been taken against the students who have since been released.

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Image posted by Subin Dennis on Facebook

Noted Dalit author Meena Kandasamy launched the protest at Kochi calling Rohith’s death an “institutional murder.” People in several other cities also came out to protest on the 19th.

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Photo Shared on Joint Action Committee for Social Justice -UoH Facebook page

Meanwhile, an FIR has been registered against several people including Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, the Vice Chancellor Appa Rao and some students under Section 306 (abetment to suicide) and the SC/ST (prevention of Atrocities) Act by the Gachibowli police.

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Bandaru Dattatreya. Source: Wikipedia

According to a post shared by the Facebook page of the Joint Action Committee for Social Justice – UoH late at night on 18 January, Rohith’s body has been disposed of in secret by the local police with the aid of right-wing activists. There has been no confirmation on this as yet.

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Photo Shared on Joint Action Committee for Social Justice -UoH Facebook page

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