Bengaluru, Jan 27: Friends and well-wishers of Rohith Vemula are going to mark his 27th birthday in a special way on January 30 (Saturday).
Around 200 student associations from across the country have set up a national joint action committee. Students are planning to commemorate Rohith's birthday with a Chalo Delhi (Let's march to Delhi) protest.
The Hyderabad Central University is on a boil since Rohith's tragic and untimely death. Protest rallies have become a regular affair at the university campus.
Several of Rohith's friends are on hunger strike. Three students from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi are also on an indefinite hunger strike in solidarity with Hyderabad university student protesters.
Everyday students from various parts of the country are holding protests demanding justice for Rohith. Rohith's 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.
The agitating students are demanding resignations of Union ministers Smriti Irani and Bandaru Dattatreya over the suicide. They also want vice chancellor Appa Rao Podile to be sacked.
Rohith was one of the five scholars who were expelled, after a scuffle broke out between Ambedkar Students' Association (ASA) (Rohith was a member of ASA) and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) in August last year.
Protesters allege that pressure from Dattatreya, labour minister and BJP lawmaker from Secunderabad, resulted in Irani's education ministry sending repeated reminders to the university, forcing it to punish the students.
Protest marches were witnessed in the capital city on January 27 (Wednesday). Protesting the alleged "delay in justice" to Hyderabad university research scholar, scores of students from varsities across Delhi today once again marched to the HRD Ministry where around 100 of them were detained by Delhi police.
Moreover, 20 teachers from Bahujan Teachers' Association hailing from Nellore and Prakasham districts of Andhra Pradesh will be on a hunger strike from January 28 (Thursday), until justice is delivered to Rohith.
Students of several universities across Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are on strike demanding justice for Rohith.
On January 27 (Wednesday), students of HCU painted themselves with black colours as a part of their protest.