Hyderabad Dalit scholar suicide: Delhi students stage protest

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New Delhi, Jan 18 (IANS) At least 200 students of Delhi University staged a protest outside Shastri Bhavan here, which houses among others the human resource development ministry, on Monday demanding resignation of the Hyderabad University vice chancellor over the suicide of a Dalit scholar.

The students raised slogans against Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Smriti Irani and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), like “Smriti Irani sharm karo” (Shame on you, Smriti Irani) and “Hindutvawadi faansiwad murdabad” (Down with Hindu fascism).

The students — mostly from the Krantikari Yuva Sangthan (KYS), Students Federation of India (SFI) and All India Students Association (AISA) — gathered outside Shastri Bhavan around 3 p.m. and displayed placards against Irani.

Minutes after the protest, Delhi Police deployed heavy security detail in the area and imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, banning any gathering of five or more people.

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Police used water cannons to disperse the protestors who tried to climb barricades.

Rohith Vemula, a 28-year-old Ph.D. second-year student of the Hyderabad University, hanged himself in his hostel room on January 17 after he along with four Dalit research scholars was expelled from the university hostel.

Vemula hailed from Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh.

The research scholars were expelled from their hostel in December 2015 following a clash with leaders of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the students wing of the Rashtriya XSwayamsevak Sangh (RSS). They were evicted from their rooms and forced to sleep in a makeshift tent on the campus.

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