Thousands from Mumbai demand justice for Rohith
Activists, students, social workers want action against those responsible for Dalit scholar’s suicidemumbai Updated: Feb 02, 2016 01:15 IST
Thousands of students, political activists and social workers came out on the streets to protest against the suicide of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula in Hyderabad.
Sporting caps that read Mein Rohith hoon (I am Rohith) and raising slogans against the Modi government, the protesters marched from Rani Baug in Byculla to CST. Prominent social activists such as Teesta Setalvad, Ram Punyani, Irfan Engineer and Dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar joined the protest.
“Many protests are being held across the country against the exploitation of Dalits and other marginalised sections,” said Suvarna Salve, a student activist from Samatha Vidyarthi Agadi.
“Getting justice for Vemula is important for all Dalit, minority and oppressed students and youths,” said Mohammed Salman, divisional president, Students Islamic Organisation of India.
Several Dalit organisations, student groups and left-wing political parties had participated in the protest.
Dontha Prashant, Vemula’s friend and one of the five students who was expelled from Hyderabad Central University (HCU), addressed the gathering and detailed the circumstances surrounding their expulsion. “Vemula was fighting against the same forces that ultimately led to his suicide,” he said.
Prakash Ambedkar, in his address, demanded action against union minister Smriti Irani and others involved in Vemula’s death. “The incident took place because of pressure from the Centre,” he said.
Their other demands included removal of Hyderabad Central University vice-chancellor, Rs50 lakh compensation for Vemula’s family, instituting a judicial enquiry to look into the incident and other discriminatory practices in higher education institutes across the country.