HYDERABAD: After a delay of more than two hours, Rohit Vemula Shahadath Din which was scheduled for Tuesday afternoon began at 5.30 PM at the main gate of University of Hyderabad even as the family members of Rohith Vemula along with Fathima Nafees, the mother of missing JNU student Najeeb, and others were not allowed into the campus.
Earlier, mild tension prevailed at the gate as students attempted to break open the main gate. As many as 17 students who tried to march out of campus in an attempt to hold the scheduled programme at the university entrance were taken into preventive custody by the Gachibowli police.
However, they managed to break open the gates and stayed put there. Further, Radhika Vemula, Una survivors and others were invited to speak.
Rohith's brother Raja Vemula, speaking at the event said: "Even today, they are not allowing me to see Rohith's stupa inside the university. Police are saying they will arrest me if I go inside. Let them arrest me. I will go ahead. I am thankful to all if you and see his face in all if you."
Dontha Prashant, an ASA leader and one of the scholars who had faced disciplinary action along with Vemula, said: "When I went to meet Radhika amma in morning, she was in a lot of pain. She said they killed my son, now they are after me. She said they are pushing me towards a state of resignation. Today, Radhika's words are a reminder that if we don't stand with her we will be responsible for losing another Rohith. The government has awarded institutional murderer Appa Rao."
Rahul, one of the suspended student from BAPSA in Jawaharlal Nehru University said: "There won't be a
2-minute silence, there should be noise until we get justice. Until we don't get justice, be it V-C Appa Rao or govt authority, we will fight against them."
Likening JNU to a village where lower caste persons were refused equal rights, he said: "We took out data of 5 years of marks allocation in viva, we found that Dalit students don't get beyond 10 & 15 marks. Commitee said there is discrimination in viva, when the council agreed to decrease viva weight age we agreed. When a Dalit or minority student performs so well in written exam, why are you giving him mere single digit or ten marks in viva. We received sudden Firmaan after council meet saying that we are suspended."
Further, he explained that it has not been mentioned till when they were suspended. "Rohith left this world opening our eyes. Regarding atrocities, we wanted the campus to thunder with voices of resistance. Modi, I want to tell you that outside RSS office in Nagpur, Hindutva extremist dharmashatra will be burnt," he thundered.
Dadri victim Md Akhlaq's brother Jaan Mohammad, on his part, said: "I salute this mother who lost her son. In my house nobody even slaughter a chicken some anti social elements placed it in our fridge. It was scandal. The accused say they found beef, even police didn't say they found beef. It is neither your nor mine, the country is ours."
Before finishing, he recited Dushyant Kumar's lines,"Mere sine mein nahi toh there seene mein sahi ho kahin bhi aag lekin aag jalni chahiye" Another BAPSA leader from JNU, Mrityunjay, who is also suspended by the administration said: "Rohit is hero. Our V-Cs are scared of what. If we had to thrash, we would have done it long back. Brahmanical agendas happen in university. I salute Akhlaq's brother, Una atrocity survivors. I appeal you all to break the barriers, unite and fight."
In the afternoon, Frontline magazine's Andhra Pradesh and Telangana correspondent Kunal Shankar was picked up and taken to Gachibowli police station after authorities reportedly complained to police.
University had maintained that no outsider would be allowed to enter or stay in the campus following the orders of Hyderabad High Court. Based on a complaint, the police registered a case against the scribe on charges of trespass.