Former Allahabad high court judge Ashok Kumar Roopanwal on Thursday was appointed by the Centre to investigate the circumstances that led to the suicide of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula.
According to a senior HRD official, Roopanwal will review the entire sequence of events and the circumstances, and establish facts and correctives in connection with the incident at the University of Hyderabad. The one-man judicial commission will submit its report within three months.
Meanwhile, interim vice-chancellor Vipin Srivastava said he was hopeful that normalcy would be restored on the varsity campus in the coming days, claiming that the protesting students have agreed to allow research activity in the life sciences department to resume from Friday.
The agreement was reportedly reached after the deans held talks with the leaders of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of agitating student groups.
Srivastava said the university would hold classes on Saturdays and the semester would also be extended to make up for the days lost due to the strike.
Even as Srivastava expressed hopes of an early resolution to the ongoing crisis, four teachers from two universities in the city launched a relay hunger strike on Thursday demanding his resignation. Three of the teachers are from the University of Hyderabad while the other is from the Osmania University.
“The hunger strike is by both SC/ST Teachers’ Forum and concerned teachers,” Joby Joseph, one of the fasting teachers said. “Our demands are simple. The vice-chancellor should step down and the interim V-C should also resign from the post as he was part of the decision to suspend the Dalit students.”
Srivastava, who headed the committee which suspended the five Dalit students, including Rohith, has defended the action taken and dismissed demands for his resignation.