Hyderabad: After two weeks of massive protests over the suicide of a Dalit research scholar, classes resumed at the University of Hyderabad on Monday. Normalcy returned to the campus of the central university after protesting students allowed the administration to conduct the classes and lifted siege of the administrative block.
Protest in HCU over Rohith Vemula’s death The Joint Action Committee (JAC) for Social Justice, an umbrella grouping of student bodies, however continued its peaceful protest and relay hunger strike on the campus to press its demands, including the sacking of Vice Chancellor P. Appa Rao. The JAC, which submitted its demands to interim vice chancellor Periasamy on Sunday, gave 10-day ultimatum to the administration to fulfill them. The JAC also said that Vipin Srivastava should not return as interim vice chancellor after his four-day leave.
Srivatsava, who went on leave on Friday, is unacceptable to the JAC as he headed the committee which suspended five Dalit students, including Rohith Vemula who eventually committed suicide. Srivatsava had taken over as the incharge after Appa Rao proceeded on leave on January 24. The JAC blamed Appa Rao for the suspension and suicide of Rohith.
Periasamy, who held talks with the protesting students on Sunday, said their demands don’t come under the purview of the university. He advised the JAC to raise the demands with the human resource development ministry, whose officials are expected to visit the university soon.
The JAC also plans to take its protest to the New Delhi on February 4. Rohith committed suicide on January 17, triggering widespread protests. The JAC launched the protest, demanding the resignation of the vice chancellor and demanding action against central ministers Smriti Irani, Bandaru Dattatreya and others, blaming them for the suicide. The Dalit students were suspended in September following a clash with a leader of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).
The human resource development ministry has set up a judicial commission to probe the suicide. The university also revoked the suspension of the four Dalit students and announced a compensation of Rs.8 lakh to the family of Rohith. IANS