Hyderabad, Jan 19: Rohith Chakravarthi Vemula, a dalit PhD scholar who was suspended from Hyderabad Central University over a political dispute, committed suicide in hostel room. The tragic death of Rohith Vemula triggered protests across the country. Following the protest, the police registered an FIR against local BJP MP and Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya under the SC/ST Act and on charges of abetment to suicide.
The Hyderebad University has been witnessing clashes between right-wing student group Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and Ambedkar Students’ Association and Telangana SFI clashing over different issues. Apparently Vemula was suspended with four others for allegedly assaulting ABVP leader. (ALSO READ: Asaduddin Owaisi for strong action against Hyderabad University Vice Chancellor)
1- It all began with a Facebook post. ABVP president Sushil Kumar wrote a post on Facebook calling ASA members ‘goons’.
2- Agitated ASA members screened Nakul Shawney’s documentary titled Muzaffarnagar Abhi Baki Hai. The ABVP members reportedly disrupted the screening and called it anti-Hindu. After the incident, Sushil Kumar alleged that he was beaten up by ASA members including Rohith Vemula.
3- Following the incident, the Hyderabad University administration stopped paying Rohith his monthly stipend of Rs 25,000 (excluding HRA) blaming the delay on ‘paperwork’.
4- The university set up an inquiry against Rohith and four other ASA members in August. On August 17, Bandaru Dattatreya wrote to HRD Minister urging action and claiming that the “Hyderabad University… has in the recent past, become a den of casteist, extremist and anti-national politics”.
5- “This could be visualised from the fact that when Yakub Memon was hanged, a dominant students union, that is Ambedkar Students Union had held protests against the execution. When Shushil Kumar, president, ABVP, protested against this, he was manhandled and as a result he was admitted in hospital. What is more tragic is that the university administration has become a mute spectator to such events,” Bandaru wrote.
6- On December 17, the authorities suspended Rohith and four others ASA members and barred the scholars’ entry into the administrative building, hostels, libraries, mess and other common areas.
7- After the suspension, the five moved out of their hostel rooms to a tent they set up inside the campus and began a ‘relay hunger protest’.
8- On January 18, Rohith’s body found hanging in hostel room with a heartfelt suicide note. It read: “I am happy dead than being alive”