Tension prevailed at the University of Hyderabad on Tuesday as police stopped AAP activists from entering the campus to participate in a meeting to mark the first anniversary of research scholar Rohith Vemula’s suicide.
Aam Aadmi Party workers staged a sit-in at the main gate, demanding that they be allowed to join the meeting.
The Joint Action Committee for Social Justice, an umbrella grouping of students’ bodies demanding justice for Rohith, is holding a meeting in the campus to mark ‘shahdath din’ (martyrdom day).
The organisers have invited Rohith’s mother Radhika Vemula and Jaan Mohammed, brother of Mohammed Akhlaq, who was lynched by a mob in Dadri in Uttar Pradesh over rumours of beef eating.
The university authorities have imposed restrictions on the entry of outsiders into the campus. Security was tightened at the main gate since morning.
Students and employees were allowed only after they produced their identity cards.
The Registrar issued a circular stating that outsiders including media persons, politicians and activists cannot enter the campus.
The university authorities also made it clear that there was no permission for holding any programme on the campus.
However, defying the orders, a group of students gathered at ‘Velivada’ (Dalit ghetto) on the campus.
Holding pictures of Rohith and placards, they raised slogans demanding the arrest of vice-chancellor P Appa Rao and justice for Rohith.
Protesting against the restrictions over the entry of Rohith’s supporters into the campus, the students plan to march to the main gate.
Rohith Vemula, a PhD student, committed suicide by hanging himself in a hostel room on the campus in 2016 after alleged caste-based discrimination, triggering protests across India.