Authorities at the University of Hyderabad have decided to demolish a memorial for Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula, who committed suicide in January after alleging caste discrimination, amid renewed protests against vice-chancellor P Appa Rao.
The decision to demolish ‘unauthorised things’ at the shopping complex inside the campus was taken at a meeting of deans, which was presided by Appa Rao.
The decision has evoked strong reactions from students, who have been agitating for justice to Vemula and ouster of Appa Rao whom they hold responsible for the research scholar’s suicide.
“If they do this, we have to react seriously,” Prabhakar, a leader of Ambedkar Students Association (ASA), told HT.
He said 95% of students are emotionally attached to Veliwada, an ostracised area meant for Dalits where Vemula sat on protest for 13 days with four other suspended students.
Vemula committed suicide in January after alleging caste discrimination, sparking a political debate in the country.
Students have staged protests in the area and erected a small tent, built a cement structure and installed busts of Vemula since then.
DOCUMENTS ON UNIVERSITY OF HYDERABAD’S MEETING
On March 22, a group of students, who were opposing Appa Rao’s return as the VC after a two-month leave, allegedly vandalised his residence and pelted stones at police.
Twenty-five students and two faculty members were arrested in connection with the violence on the campus and were released on Tuesday. They have vowed to intensify their struggle until Appa Rao is removed as the vice-chancellor.
The students’ union of the university has even sought President Pranab Mukherjee’s immediate intervention to resolve issues related to the varsity and ensure sacking of Appa Rao.