Dalit research scholar kills self after 15-day peace camp
On Sunday morning, following his 15thnightout, the pupil had strayed away from the protestors’ camp and spent his day in one of the rooms of New Research Scholar’s hostel. At 7.30 pm on Sunday, he was discovered hanging in the same room. He hanged himself using the blue banner of ASA, a pupil outfit which has been fighting for Dalit rights on the campus.
In the five-page suicide note recovered from the room Rohith had mentioned how he constantly “looked at the stars and dreamt of being a writer” and an established academic. “His mom is a daily wage labourer with an agricultural heritage. His JRF fund also used to support his family,” a student leader said.
The casualty was a second year research scholar of the science, technology and society studies department in addition to a University Grants Commission’s Junior Research Fellowship holder. The pupil is survived by his mother along with a younger brother. In his suicide note, the student had also pointed out that for the past six months he’d not got his JRF funds.
University Vice Chancellor P. Appa Rao expressed shock at the episode. Cyberabad police who had to run to the campus following protests, nevertheless, didn’t comment on whether any case would be reserved. Dozens of pupils of the varsity laid siege to the hostel as the Gachibowli police needed to be rushed to the place.
According to the university orders, five students, including Vemula, were denied entry into the hostel and permission to assemble following a scuffle between two students organisations — ASA and Akhila Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishand that took place on August 3, 2015.
It can be recalled that a scuffle broke out after a demonstration was staged by ASA in the university against the attack of ABVP on screening of the documentary, Muzzafarnagar Baqi Hai, at Delhi University. Till reports last came in, tension was mounting on the campus with agitated pupils preventing the authorities from transferring the body to the hospital. A case under section 174 of CrPC was filed in Gachibowli police station. As a precautionary measure, added police forces were placed on and around the campus.