Over 100 students from multiple colleges gathered at Freedom Park on Friday evening to launch a 48-hour satyagraha against violence on students across universities and against CAA.
This was among several events that were organised to mark the fourth death anniversary of Rohith Vemula, a PhD student who committed suicide in 2016 allegedly after facing caste discrimination at the University of Hyderabad.
However, as the police had denied permission for the satyagraha, they locked out students to prevent more of them from gathering at the spot. They were let in around 8.30 p.m.
Tension ensued as police asked the students to vacate, but the students refused. One of the organisers alleged that police called up principals of various colleges asking them to identify students at the protest and take them back.
Students decided to take back their protest around 9.30 p.m. and dispersed. Slogans against CAA, NRC, NPR and ‘Amit Shah go back’ rung the air. Mr. Shah is scheduled to visit Karnataka on Saturday.
With student organisations mobilising large numbers for the CAA protests in the city, a few student unions in alliance with 'We the people of India', a social activist group, organised a meeting in remembrance of the Ph.D scholar. The group has named his death anniversary as National Students Resistance Day.
The day started off with a protest at Mysuru Bank Circle organised by the DSS. Later, a meeting at St. Joseph's College began with students mourning the death of Vemula and mooting various contemporary issues in the education system, casteism and CAA.
Several activists as well as faculty members spoke about the importance of student activism. One of them said, "We have not done enough to take Rohith's dream forward. In that direction, we all should work together, especially in today's circumstances. Education should be made available to everybody, irrespective of caste and religion.”