Hyderabad University incident: FTII students on hunger strike

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Pune (Maharashtra), Jan 19 (IANS) Students of Film & Television Institute of India (FTII) observed a day-long hunger strike here on Tuesday in support of the five Dalit students of the Hyderabad University who have been suspended and socially-boycotted.

Of the five Dalit students, one – Rohit Vemula – committed suicide on Sunday, creating a nationwide furore.

The FTII Students Assocation has alleged that the five students have been “viciously targeted by the university administration and right wing groups, based on a false complaint lodged by ABVP president Susheel Kumar claiming an attack by 30 members of the Ambedkar Students Association”.

“We recognise that this incident should be seen in the light of things happening all across the country in recent times. Minority communities are being attacked, voices of dissent are being curtailed and brahmanical ideology is being imposed on plural cultural and educational spaces. We strongly condemn the police attack on the students,” an FTII Students Assocation spokesperson said.

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“We hold the ‘brahmanical administration’ of Hyderabad University, BJP MP Bandaru Dattatreya, Smriti Irani, the minister of HRD, Sushil Kumar, ABVP president of UoH, Appa Rao Podile, VC of UoH, and Prof Alok Pandey and the chief proctor, who ordered the suspension, are responsible for the institutional murder of Rohith Vemula,” the FTIISA said, seeking an independent probe into the incident.

The FTII has been in news in recent months following controversies over the selection of actor-filmmaker Gajendra Chauhan to the post of the chairman of the board of FTII trustees. He took charge of his post on January 7.

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