NEW DELHI: Carrying the tricolour, blue and red flags, students, activists marched from Ambedkar Bhavan to Jantar Mantar on Tuesday to protest against the death last month of the University of Hyderabad Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula.
Among them, members of All India Students Association (AISA), Students’ Federation of India (SFI), students from JNU, Delhi University, Hyderabad and Kerala universities, were also present.
Students of the JNU demanding the release of Kanhaiya Kumar also joined the protest which also saw the participation of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Mounting a fresh attack, Rahul accused the Modi dispensation and the RSS of stifling the voices of dissent of students across the country while Kejriwal accused those in power of “distributing certificates of patriotism”, alleging that “goondaism” has been unleashed to crush dissent.
Rahul said his party would fight for the enactment of a law to protect them from “discrimination” and “suppression”. “We need a law to ensure that students in colleges and universities do not face discrimination and their voice is not stifled,” Rahul said.
Kejriwal said, “This government seems to be at war with the students of this country. They have the right to speak...We have the right to raise our voice against anything which is wrong,” Kejriwal said.
The Delhi Chief Minister attacked Central government, saying, “Modiji, students se pange mat lena (Don’t take on students). If students get together, they will shake up your chair in such a manner that you will not forget.”