Ten days past the death of Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula which sparked a national outrage, the flame has yet to recede with the Congress party today staging a sit-in in front of the Ambedkar statue maintaining a vow of complete silence.
Leading the protest was Congress leader V. Hanumantha Rao who demanded action against the HRD Minister Smriti Irani and the vice chancellor of the University of Hyderabad Appa Rao. Speaking to reporters, Rao questioned why there had been no action taken against the VC and the HRD minister.
“NDA govt, they are not taking any action. Why is Appa Rao not suspended? Why are they taking no actions?” he asked.
The Congress leader went further by recalling an instance that had transpired between the VC and a principal before Rohith’s suicide. “Somebody has told Appa Rao, one of the principal of the law college, Vinod Kumar, spoke to Apparao and said, ‘something serious is going on, why don’t you talk to the students? You solve the problem, otherwise situation will be different,’ and Appa Rao told, ‘you see Vinod, it is not in my hands because I can’t do anything,” said Rao.
The Congress leader remarked that the central university had been turned into an ‘Adda’ for ABVP and RSS.
Students lead the procession from inside the campus and blocked a major route demanding for actions against the minister and the vice chancellor. They also burned effigies on the street and locked down university departments. Supports for the protesters have poured in from all across the country.