Nothing has changed in one year after Rohith Vemula’s death: Uttam

  • Congress to continue to support agitation

Hyderabad: Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) president N. Uttam Kumar Reddy said on Monday that there was no change in conditions in the University of Hyderabad (UoH) even after the suicide by Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula one year ago.

Addressing an all-party meeting organized by TPCC SC Department at Somajiguda Press Club here on Monday, Uttam Kumar said on the eve of Rohith’s first death anniversary that no action had been taken against individuals who were responsible for creating circumstances that forced Rohith Vemula to commit suicide. Instead, those suspected to be accused had been rewarded by the Central Government.

Describing the BJP-led NDA Government as anti-Dalit, he said that the UoH Vice-Chancellor Appa Rao Podile, who is accused of harassing the Dalit students, was not only retained, but given an award by Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself during the Indian Science Congress at Tirupati this month. “This was an open challenge to all those who supported the movement against discrimination of Dalit students in HCU and other universities. No action has been taken against the Union Ministers and officials who were named as accused in a case of SC, ST Atrocities (Prevention) Act registered after Rohith Vemula’s suicide,” Uttam Kumar Reddy said.

He said the Central Government tried to divert attention by questioning the caste of Rohith Vemula and his family. “Rohith’s family members and friends are being harassed and intimidated in different ways by the authorities,” he alleged. He also condemned imposition of restrictions on students who supported the movement to get justice for Rohith Vemula. He said such students were being targeted by serving notices on trivial issues and jail-like situation has been created for them in the university premises.

Uttam Kumar Reddy also condemned Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao for not taking action against the police officials who are guilty of harassing and torturing the students. While making a statement in the State Legislative Assembly on March 26, the Chief Minister had assured the House that he would order a probe into the allegations of police excesses. He had also assured to convey to the Prime Minister the mood of the House that UoH VC should be removed. However, neither the probe was completed nor any action was taken against the guilty police officials, he said. 

The TPCC chief accused the TRS Government of providing logistic support to the UoH VC in suppressing the agitation seeking justice for Rohith Vemula. Reminding that AICC Vice-President Rahul Gandhi had visited the university twice to express his solidarity with the agitating students he said that the Congress party would continue to support the agitation.

Several well-known personalities like Telangana Political Joint Action Committee (TPJAC) Chairman Prof. M. Kodandaram addressed the meeting. –NSS

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