GUWAHATI, Jan 22 - Students of several educational institutions including TISS, Guwahati, Cotton College State University and members of various organizations like Students Federation of India, Xukia etc., protested today against the circumstances leading to the suicide of Rohith Vemula, a PhD research scholar at the University of Hyderabad.
The protesters submitted a memorandum to the President of India demanding action against those responsible for the death of the Dalit scholar.
Demanding an end to institutional discrimination in all its forms, the students insisted on punishment of the guilty under the legal provisions of the country.
�We condemn in the strongest terms the unjustifiable intervention of the government in the functioning of an autonomous Central university established by an Act of Parliament. The targeting and harassment of Rohith for his political beliefs is an attempt to silence the demands and aspirations of Dalit students for democratization of education,� said a protester adding that the specific circumstances leading to the death of the Dalit scholar is institutional murder.
The protesters said that a university must be a space that affirms and advances the struggle for democracy against oppression and inequality in society at large. �But higher institutions of education have become a seat of deep inequalities. We are concerned at the ways in which institutions of higher education are accommodating and even accentuating discrimination on the basis of caste, gender, sexuality, religion, language and region.�
The other demands of the protesters include, among others, implementation of substantive measures to effectively end institutionalized caste-based discrimination on campus.