Justice for Rohith Vemula: Teachers protest to revoke suspension of two colleagues

By: Maitreyee Boruah
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Hyderabad, June 17: The protests and dharnas at the University of Hyderabad (UoH), Hyderabad, are far from over. On June 17 (Friday), the teachers of UoH staged a protest at the university campus to revoke the suspension of two faculty members by the administration.

The protest was hosted by the University of Hyderabad Teachers Association (UHTA) and the SC/ST Teachers Forum.

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"Faculty members on the campus are distressed because of the suspension of Tathagata Sengupta and KY Ratnam. After their arrest in March, this is a double punishment they are being made to go through," P Thirumal, general secretary, UHTA, told reporters.

On a Facebook post, Joint Action Committee for Social Justice of UoH-the group spearheading the protest movement demanding justice for Rohith Vemula--wrote, "We extend complete support to the demands put forward by the SC/ST Teachers' Forum and concerned teachers. We demand the immediate revocation of suspension of Professor KY Ratnam and Dr Tathagata Sengupta. We appeal to the student community of the UoH to join hands in rage against unrestrained attacks on struggling student and teacher communities. Please assemble at 11 am in front of University Administrative Block."

It has been five months since the students of the UoH, Hyderabad, are fighting to get justice for Rohith Vemula. Rohith, 26, committed suicide inside the campus of the university in January.

Rohith's tragic death has become a rallying point for all those who have long been saying that there exists a systematic discrimination of Dalit students in the higher educational institutions across the country.

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"Radhika Vemula (Rohith's mother) will join the hunger strike today in support of two suspended faculty members and to demand arrest of the vice-chancellor of UoH, Appa Rao Podile. It has been five months since Rohith's suicide, but till now, none of the accused has been arrested. Instead those who were seeking justice were arrested, lathicharged, jailed and suspended. Despite these clampdowns, the movement has not stopped, it only got intensified," said a post on the Facebook page of Joint Action Committee for Social Justice (UoH).

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