By Aditi Priya:
On 22nd March 2016, the Vice Chancellor of Hyderabad Central University, Prof. Appa Rao Podile, who was held responsible for the wrongful suspension of five Dalit students, including Rohith Vemula in December 2015, resumed charge on campus. He had gone on ‘indefinite leave’ in the face of mass protests by students demanding his removal after Rohith committed suicide in January this year. It has been more than two months since Rohith Vemula passed away and the demand for justice is only growing louder.
His return led to complete unrest in the campus. Some students from HCU have alleged that ABVP (Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad) members tried to disturb the peaceful protest being carried out by them and also tried to attack the VC’s office, the consequences of which are being faced by the peaceful protesters.
27 people, including two faculty members, were arrested and, according to some students, were treated badly in custody. Students also mentioned that the Muslim students arrested were especially targeted and called ‘Pakistani’. A new FIR with a list of 20 more names has been filed and a witch-hunt is going on in the HCU campus.
Before this chaos began, I met up with Dontha Prashanth, Rohith’s friend and one of the five Dalit scholars suspended, when he and hundreds of other students were in Delhi for the #JusticeForRohith march organised by the Joint Action Committee for Social Justice (HCU) in the last week of February. He explained, in minute detail, the events that took place in the university, ultimately leading to Rohith’s death and what happened after it.
Watch this video to find out the course of events that took place from the student who suffered the socio-political discrimination himself:
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