Dalit Scholar Issue: Student on Fast Shifted to Health Centre

HYDERABAD: One of the students on hunger strike over the suicide of Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula was today shifted to varsity’s health centre after his health deteriorated.

“One of the seven students who are on the indefinite hunger strike was admitted to university health centre following the deterioration of his health,” Ravindra Kumar, chief medical officer said.

“He was semi-unconscious in the afternoon. He was taken to the health centre. His condition is stable now,” Kumar said.

The second batch of seven students sat on indefinite hunger strike day before yesterday after the first batch was forcibly taken away and admitted to hospital on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) today handed over a cheque for Rs 5 lakh to Rohith’s mother Radhika.

The cheque was given by TPCC president Uttam Kumar Reddy at the varsity campus.

“It (Rohith’s suicide) is very sad. Congress will fight until the culprits are punished. From Telangana Congress side we have given Rs 5 lakh to Rohith’s mother. We will support the bereaved family in (all) possible ways,” Reddy told reporters.

“The (Central) government is handling the issue of appointment of interim Vice Chancellor (VC) in an irresponsible way. They should remove the VC immediately and appoint another person. We demand that both the central ministers (HRD Minister Smriti Irani and Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya) be sacked,” he said.

The Joint Action Committee (JAC) for Social Justice said it had earlier requested the Indian People’s Tribunal (IPT) to send a fact finding team to investigate Rohith’s death.

The IPT team comprising Justice (Retd) Suresh H, Desi Disa Editor Sujata Surepalli, CBC Federation Chairman U S Rao, Researcher Meena Menon and senior advocate Gayatri Singh in its report said the death of Rohit was caused by acts of omission and commission of the authorities.

The JAC for Social Justice of HCU has also given a call for shutdown of universities across the country tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the Hyderabad police foiled attempts to take out a ‘peace’ rally towards Tank Bund and took over 50 protesting students in preventive custody.

Scores of students, under the banner of Osmania University JAC and University of Hyderabad JAC assembled near the People’s Plaza as per their plan to take out a ‘peace’ rally towards Ambedkar statue at Tank Bund.

As the protesting students holding banners and photos of Rohit raised slogans seeking justice and marched towards Tank Bund, police immediately took them into preventive custody and foiled their attempts to hold the rally in view of prohibitory orders near Secretariat.

“They were not allowed to take out the rally and as many as 54 protesters were placed under preventive arrests,” J Surender Reddy, Assitant Commissioner of Police, Saifabad Division, told PTI.