Dalit student suicide: Classes resume in Hyderabad University

Classes resumed today in Hyderabad Central University, two weeks after the suicide of Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula and subsequent agitation by the varsity students.

“Classes are going on. Administration is also working,” a JAC spokesperson Dickens told PTI.

“We have set a deadline of ten days. We will continue our agitation in the form of relay hunger strike and organising seminars and rallies peacefully. People from outside also have come to express solidarity to our agitation. (VC) Professor Appa Rao should go. There is no change in that demand,” he said.

When contacted, SC/ST Faculty Forum convener Sudhakar Babu said they (teachers) are attending classes.

He also said as per the request by in-charge Vice Chancellor M Periasamy, the faculty members would also continue in the administrative position.

Earlier, the teachers’ body said they had laid down papers from the administrative position.

Periasamy yesterday held a meeting with representatives of Join Action Committee for Social Justice and discussed the demands put forward by the student body.

Periasamy took charge of the varsity after in-charge VC Vipin Srivastava proceeded on leave on Saturday.

Srivastava was given charge after the regular VC, Appa Rao Podile, went on leave following the row over Vemula’s suicide.

The agitating students earlier said they would not (RPT) not accept Srivastava, who was the sub-committee chairman that barred the five Dalit students including Vemula from accessing hostel facilities, as in-charge VC.

The HCU sailed through rough weathers with agitations ever since Vemula committed suicide in a hostel room on the campus on January 17.

He was one of the five students suspended from using hostel facilities for their alleged role in a case related to the attack of ABVP leader N Susheel Kumar.

Subsequently, after Vemula’s suicide, the university terminated the suspension of the four students.

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi visited the campus twice while Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, CPI General Secretary S Sudhakar Reddy, CPI(M) general Secretary Sitaram Yechury, YSRCP chief YS Jaganmohan Reddy and MIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi were among the prominent political leaders who visited the campus and expressed solidarity with the agitating students.