Hyderabad: The ongoing protests over the suicide of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula has intensified as University of Hyderabad's (UoH) Chief Medical Officer, Controller of Examination and all SC / ST hostel wardens have resigned from their administrative posts in protest against Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani's statement that the action against students was taken by the executive committee.
Among those who have resigned are Controller of Examination Professor V Krishna, Chief Warden Dr G Nagaraju and all SC / ST hostel wardens of the University of Hyderabad.
Besides, more than 10 SC/ST professors of the UoH yesterday resigned from their 'administrative roles' protesting against Irani's remarks in Delhi that the Dalit faculty members were also part of the University's probe that eventually led to the expulsion of research scholar Rohith Vemula and four others.
The Dalit professors were quoted by ANI as saying that Union HRD Minister's statement on the suicide of the young research scholar "misrepresented facts."
"In response to the Honourable Minister's fabricated statements, we the Dalit (SC/ST) faculty and officers lay down our administrative positions" said a press statement by UoH SC/ST Teachers and Officers Forum.
"We express our solidarity with students who are protesting against the death of Rohith Vemula and demand the immediate revocation of suspension and removal of police cases filed against our students," it added.
The press release further stated, "It (sub-committee of executive council) was headed by an upper caste professor Vipin Srivastava and there are no Dalit faculty member in the sub-committee."
"It was headed by an upper caste professor. and there are no Dalit faculties in this subcommittee. Incidentally, the dean of student welfare who happens to be a Dalit was notionally co-opted an an ex-officio member of the committee. It is unfortunate that since its inception, no Dalit representation has been given in this council," it said.
Irani, had yesterday termed the ongoing protest on Vemula's suicide as 'malicious' the attempt to 'project it as a caste battle'.
"This is not a Dalit versus non- Dalit issue as being projected by some to ignite passion," Irani told a press conference, while rejecting allegations that her Ministry had put pressure on the University to suspend Vemula.
With ANI inputs