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Rohith Vemula Anniversary: Students Plan 'Shahadat Din'; UoH Clamps Restrictions

Hyderabad: A stage seems to have set for confrontation between students of University of Hyderabad and its authorities over organisation of “Shahadat Din” on Tuesday in memory of dalit scholar Rohit Vemula whose alleged suicide last year had raised a political firestorm.

Clarifying that no permission was given to students who are planning to hold a series of programmes, the varsity authorities today clamped restrictions on the movement of outsiders on the campus.

A section of students under the aegis of Joint Action Committee for Social Justice – UOH has said they would gather at Rohit Stupa to remember his legacy and take a vow that fight will go on against casteism and communalism.

The mass gathering, to be organised on the campus, is slated to be attended by Rohits mother Radhika Vemula, family of Najeeb Ahmed, the JNU student who has been missing, Jaan Mohammed, brother of Mohammad Akhlaq who was lynched in September 2015 on suspicion that his family stored and ate beef at their house, a few dalits who were thrashed by cow vigilantes at Una in Gujarat last year.

Vemula was found hanging in a hostel room on the UoH campus on January 17, 2016, sparking a huge controversy and political tug-of-war.

“The University cannot be used as a platform for outsiders to participate in the activities called by insiders or outsiders when there was no permission,” stated a circular issued by UoH Registrar P S Singh.
It warned of appropriate disciplinary action against those who violate the directions.

“Announcements were made through media and wall posters that some activities are being taken up on January 17 at University of Hyderabad campus. University has not issued any permission to such activities,” it said.

Singh said the cooperation of entire varsity community is needed for maintaining peace and tranquil academic atmosphere.

University authorities had last year issued a notification banning entry of outsiders, political parties, media and social/student groups.

The JAC members, who are planning a series of programmes under the banner of Justice for Rohit Vemula, said his portraits in all hostels will be garlanded and a remembrance rally will also be held on Tuesday.

UoH Pro Vice-Chancellor- 1 Prof Vipin Srivastava told PTI, “they (JAC) have not sought any permission from University officials..If they go ahead with their programmes it will be unofficial.”

Asked if the varsity authorities had sought for enhancing security, Srivastava said “We will monitor the situation and act accordingly.”

The Dean of Students Welfare of UoH also advised all the students unions, forums, associations, JAC on the campus not to involve directly or indirectly in inviting or entertaining outsiders and cited prevailing ban on the campus on allowing outsiders into the campus.