Joining the ongoing stir over the alleged suicide of Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula, the SC/ST Employees Welfare Association of the Hyderabad Central University (HCU) today organised a ‘protest day’.
The ‘SC/ST Teachers Forum and Concerned Teachers’ this morning also continued their relay hunger strike, which they had started yesterday.
The members of the forum have written to President Pranab Mukherjee, visitor of the university, regarding their demand for removal of Vice-Chancellor Appa Rao Podile and seeking that in-charge VC Vipin Srivastava should step down from the post, a representative of the Joint Action Committee for Social Justice said.
The JAC, under whose banner the agitation by the students is being led, said a candle light vigil would be organised today, on the eve of the birthday of research scholar Rohith Vemula, who allegedly committed suicide in a hostel room on January 17.
A group of students are also slated to start an indefinite fast in support of their demands today.
The JAC has called for mass hunger strike in universities across the country to express solidarity with the agitation on the HCU campus.
Two batches of students had earlier held indefinite fast at the protest site in HCU. However, they were shifted to hospitals following concerns over their health condition.
The JAC plans to undertake a visit to Delhi in the first week of February to meet the President to press for their demands, the JAC representative said.
The JAC’s main demands includes bringing in a ‘Rohith Act’ to prevent any injustice to the students of marginalised sections in university, and forming a committee to look into the issues of alleged caste and academic biases in the varsities in the last 20 years in the country.