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GROUND REPORT: From Muzaffarnagar riots to Yakub Memon's hanging, what all 'led' to Rohith Vemula's suicide

By Prashant V Singh | Last Updated: Wednesday, January 20, 2016 - 17:21
GROUND REPORT: From Muzaffarnagar riots to Yakub Memon's hanging, what all 'led' to Rohith Vemula's suicide
Zee Media Bureau/Prashant V Singh

Hyderabad: Rohith Vemula, a Dalit PhD scholar at Hyderabad Central University (HCU), was found hanging at hostel room in the campus on Sunday, triggering protests by the fellow students. Now, the protest fire has reached the national capital and other regions of the country as well.

Here's the inside story about what all probably led to suicide of the Dalit research scholar:-


ABVP vs Ambedkar Students Association (ASA) tussle

According to some students of Hyderabad Central University, the ego battle between ABVP and ASA claimed Rohith Vemula's life. 

"ABVP and ASA are always at loggerheads with each other; since Rohith Vemula was also a member of ASA, hence somehow this bitter politics boiling between ABVP-ASA members was also responsible for his suicide," an M Tech student of HCU told Zee Media.

"ASA members' tussle with ABVP leaders played a key role as the suspension of Rohith Vemula came after the ASA-ABVP tiff over Yakub Memon's hanging only," another M Tech student added.

ABVP, ASA were at loggerheads over Yakub Memon's hanging

"Five dalit students were asked to vacate their accommodation and find different quarters for themselves. Their living spaces were locked by the hostel administration. Reportedly, one of the reasons cited for this was that the students opposed the death sentences awarded to Yakub Memon," a research scholar at HCU said.

ASA had opposed the hanging of 1993 Mumbai blasts convict Yakub Memon; this act of ASA members didn't go down well with ABVP members. 


Screening of a movie on Muzaffarnagar riots

The screening of 'Muzaffarnagar Baaqi Hain' documentary on Muzaffarnagar riots was stalled by the ABVP, which ASA protested.

ABVP also termed ASA members as 'anti-national' as latter had earlier protested the Yakub Memon's hanging and later stalled screening of the movie on Muzaffarnagar riots.

Frustration over suspension by Hyderabad Central University

According to some students of the university, Rohith was very frustrated over suspension as he didn't get 7 months of my fellowship i.e. one lakh and seventy five thousand rupees. Rohith Vemula mentioned about the fellowship amount in his last letter (suicide note) too.

"However,  Rohith Vemula was pretty active in student politics, but had grown increasingly silent after suspension by the university."

Rohith Vemula comes from a humble background; his father works as a security guard while mother stitches clothes to earn livelihood.

'Why no action against ABVP'

Some of the students at HCU ask, "If HCU wanted to take a disciplinary action, they why it happened only against ASA? Why no action against ABVP?"

Social boycott at HCU

"Rohith Vemula and 4 other ASA members were expelled from their hostel in December. They were denied access to hostels and other buildings on the campus except their classroom, library and conferences and workshops related to their subject of study. They were evicted from their rooms on January and since then they were forced to stay in a makeshift tent on the campus."

"This gave Rohith a feeling of social boycott and slowly he went into depression which later claimed his life," a student of HCU who spoke on condition of anonymity.

"All these 'facts' and incidents acted as building blocks in frustrating Rohith; eventually led to suicide," feel some of the HCU students.


First Published: Wednesday, January 20, 2016 - 00:04
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