UoH Suicide: Research Scholars on Indefinite Fast - The New Indian Express

UoH Suicide: Research Scholars on Indefinite Fast

Published: 07th December 2013 08:27 AM

Last Updated: 07th December 2013 08:27 AM

Demanding the resignation of vice-chancellor of University of Hyderabad  Ramakrishna Ramaswamy and the suspension of faculty who were found guilty in the suicide case of M Venkatesh, four Ph.D scholars launched an indefinite hunger strike on Friday on the university premises.

Venkatesh, a research scholar at the university, committed suicide on November 24 night allegedly by consuming a poisonous substance. According to his friends, Venkatesh, resorted to the extreme step as he was ‘worried over the non-allotment of a guide’ for the past few months.

The agitating students - Gummadi Prabhakar, Siluveru Harinath, Venpulu Sunkanna and Emmadi Naveen - also demanded a judicial probe into the ‘institutional murder of Venkatesh’ and employment for kin of Venkatesh and Pulyala Raju (another UoH student who committed suicide in March).

A committee headed by Krishna, professor of Hindi department, UoH, was formed to ascertain the reasons for Venkatesh’s suicide. ‘’The committee report says that the director of the centre, some chemistry faculty members associated with ACRHEM are responsible for death of Venkatesh,” said Prabhakar, another scholar and added that some professors refused to allot a guide to Venkatesh and asked him to start his research again right from the scratch.

‘’Before the Krishna committee was formed, the vice-chancellor assured us that action will be taken against people who were found guilty. Though the committee report has been released, the vice-chancellor did not take any action till date,” Prabhakar said.

Explaining as to why they were demanding the vice-chancellor’s resignation, Harinath, said, “The vice-chancellor himself claimed that the death of Venkatesh occurred because of institutional failure. And after he took position, seven students committed suicide. He is responsible for the deaths for various reasons.”

Prabhakar said that the vice-chancellor and the dean of students’ welfare (DSW) met them on Friday and assured of a judicial probe into the suicide. “However it is only one of our demands. We will not stop our strike until some action is taken,” he said.

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