More students speak up against discrimination at JNU

  • Shradha Chettri and Heena Kausar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jan 27, 2016 12:48 IST
Students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on indefinite hunger strike as a protest against the death of PhD scholar Rohith Vemula. (Saumya Khandelwal/HT)

Classes at the Jawaharlal Nehru University were suspended on Wednesday over the suicide of Dalit student, Rohith Vemula at Hyderabad University. Students will hold a protest outside the Ministry of Human Resource Development on Wednesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, at the university, more students from the Centre for International Politics Organisation and Disarmament (CIPOD) have come out to speak against the alleged discrimination after Dalit researcher Madan Meher of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) threatened to commit suicide alleging discrimination.

While for Meher, it was the issue was of his scholarship money not being granted, Kavita and few others have alleged that the centre is not considering their marks for the completion of their MPhil and PhD thesis.

“The academic council has asked students to give chance to students whose grade are between 4-5 and my centre is not doing anything. I have requested several times but the head says what is the guarantee that even if I give you a chance you will pass. What am I to make of this?” said Kavita, Mphil student from Allahabad. She was given admission under the is under the OBC category.

However for Meher, the School of International Studies centre has already held a meeting with the chairman.

“Meher’s case is being treated with priority. His scholarship should be processed in few days time. There are certain problems with few students and I will individually try and sort every student’s problem,” said Anuradha Chenoy, dean Centre for International Studies.

The centre has said they will immediately take the matter with the new Vice Chancellor who is taking over on Wednesday.

Meher, a Dalit scholar, had threatened to commit suicide if the university does not release his senior research fellowship. In a letter received by the JNU vice-chancellor on January 25, the scholar alleged that he has been denied extension for pursuing his PhD for over a year now.

Meher, who has qualified NET/JRF, also that claimed an RTI reply revealed not a single Dalit student has got PhD from his centre.

The university officials maintained that Meher had taken a grant of R 66,000 for a field trip in 2013 but did not go for it and until the student settles the account, his SRF cannot be released.

“I am from a very poor family and I had to use the field trip allocation for a family emergency. I thought I would pay it back using my SRF but first I was denied extension and then my SRF is not being released,” Meher said.

JNU’s student union on Tuesday took up the issue and said, “Victimisation of Dalits is a larger problem across Universities.

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