Delhi

JNU students show solidarity with HCU, protest outside HRD Ministry

JNUSU vice-president Shehla Rashid addresses students outside the HRD Ministry on Wednesday; students demand justice for Rohith Vemula.Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar  

: Continuing their agitation demanding justice for Dalit PhD scholar Rohith Vemula, students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) on Wednesday protested outside the HRD Ministry demanding removal of Hyderabad Central University (HCU) vice-chancellor Appa Rao Podile and withdrawal of police presence from the campus.

The students were stopped by police as they tried to march towards the ministry. They have been raising three demands in connection with the suicide of Mr. Vemula, who was found hanging at HCU’s hostel room on January 17.

A five-member delegation led by JNUSU vice-president Shehla Rashid Shora met MHRD Secretary V.S. Oberoi and submitted a memorandum in this regard.

“Our major demands include immediate removal of police presence in HCU, removal of Mr. Podile and dropping of false charges against students unconditionally,” Shehla said.

The fresh protests over the issue, come in wake of resumption of office by the Mr. Podile two-months after going on leave amid the storm following Mr. Vemula’s suicide.

HCU students had on Tuesday vandalised Mr. Podile’s official residence and police had to baton-charge another group during their protest against him resuming charge.

Meanwhile, JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar, who is out on bail in a sedition case, reached Hyderabad on Wednesday where he was scheduled to address a meeting on the campus at the invitation of the Joint Action Committee for Social Justice, which had spearheaded an agitation earlier demanding “justice” for Mr. Vemula.

However, he was denied permission by the university.

In a clamp down, the authorities also barred outsiders including political leaders and media from entering the campus and suspended classes for four days.

JNU students have been protesting in the Capital ever since Mr. Vemula’s death and have demanded the resignation of HRD minister Smriti Irani.

Meanwhile, officials in the HRD ministry claimed the demands of the students were not under their purview. “Regarding the demand for removal of the v-c, the ministry has conveyed the same to the Visitor who is the appointing authority. As far as the matter about police action against HCU students is concerned, the issue of law and order comes under the jurisdiction of the State government,” HRD spokesperson Ghanshyam Goel said.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2021 7:55:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/jnu-students-show-solidarity-with-hcu-protest-outside-hrd-ministry/article8391268.ece

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