Protest to mark six months of ‘institutional murder’ of Rohith Vemula

Written by: Maitreyee Boruah
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Hyderabad, July 17: The world might have forgotten the tragic death of Rohith Vemula, but his family and friends are still fighting to get justice for the Dalit research scholar.

Six months after the 26-year-old committed suicide inside the campus of the University of Hyderabad (UoH) on January 17, his friends and family will host a protest rally at the university campus on July 17 (Sunday).

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"Please join us for the protest at the University of Hyderabad to mark the six months of the institutional murder of Rohith Vemula and 31 years of the Karamchedu massacre," said a post on the Facebook page of the Joint Action Committee for Social Justice (UoH).

The Joint Action Committee for Social Justice (UoH) is the main group spearheading the protest movement demanding justice for Rohith.

The protest has been jointly organized by the Joint Action Committee for Social Justice (UoH), SC/ST Teachers' Forum and other concerned teachers.

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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.

"It has been six 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 friend of Rohith on the condition of anonymity.

The family and friends of Rohith allege that the 26-year- old committed suicide because of the harassment he faced at the hands of the university's vice-chancellor Appa Rao and senior BJP leaders, including former Human Resource Development (HRD) minister Smriti Irani.

Recently, Radhika Vemula, mother of Rohith, said Irani should be arrested. The former HRD minister has been named as an accused in the complaint under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act.

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