Govt flared up JNU issue to divert people's attention from Rohith Vemula suicide: Kanhaiya at Hyderabad University

JNU Students Union leader Kanhaiya Kumar on Wednesday alleged the government flared up the issue of JNU to divert people's attention from the Rohit Vemula's suicide issue and subsequent developments.

Addressing a press conference after landing in Hyderabad on Wednesday afternoon, Kumar, accompanied by local CPI leaders, said the fight will continue until the government brings "Rohith Act" to curb atrocities on the lines of Nirbhaya Act.

"The government smartly made issue of JNU to keep Rohit Vemula's issue under carpet. But we all know that even if we are different, we are one when it comes to saving justice in the nation. That's why as soon as I came out jail, on behalf of JNUSU, I thought I would go to Hyderabad. My first visit outside Delhi would be Hyderabad," he said.

He said Vemula's mother is like Bhagat Singh's mother in present circumstances.

Kumar was scheduled to address a meeting on the campus this evening at the invitation of the Joint Action Committee for Social Justice, which had spearheaded an agitation earlier demanding "justice" for Dalit research scholar Vemula, who committed suicide in a hostel room at HCU on January 17.

 Govt flared up JNU issue to divert peoples attention from Rohith Vemula suicide: Kanhaiya at Hyderabad University

JNUSU leader Kanhaiya Kumar. Image courtesy: IBNLive

"Today, I will first meet Rohith Vemula's mother Radhika and his brother Raja. JAC has invited me to address a public meeting on HCU campus... If police allows me then I will definitely go to HCU and address the students," Kanhaiya told reporters at the Rajiv Gandhi International airport here.

"We have experience with JAC for various struggles and we will take this fight forward... This struggle will continue until 'Rohith Act' is implemented... to fulfil his (Rohith) dreams of social justice on the campus," he said.

Earlier, HCU authorities categorically said they would not allow outsiders, including media and political party leaders, on the campus in view of the prevailing situation.

Student groups at the university on Wednesday condemned police 'brutality' and 'sexual assault' on students protesting against Appa Rao. The Joint Action Committee for Social Justice, an umbrella grouping of 14 student bodies, said an emergency like situation has been imposed on the campus with the authorities shutting down mess, water and internet connection.

The JAC, in a statement on Wednesday, alleged that police, Rapid Action Force (RAF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and other security personnel unleashed brutal physical and sexual assault on students and teachers on Tuesday.

It alleged that the security personnel not only beat up men and women students but hurled abuses, branded them "anti-nationals" and threatened to file sedition charges.

"Women students were beaten and grabbed by male police officers. After the forcible eviction from the lodge compound, police chased us for another 2 km, and grabbed and arrested students. Students suffered grievous injuries and were taken to hospitals," it said.

According to the JAC, the phones of several students were confiscated while they were videorecording the brutality.

It said 36 students including three professors were picked up, brutally beaten in a police van, and detained in unknown locations all night.

The JAC claimed that Appa Rao had provided the list of students and professors to be picked up.

It alleged that Appa Rao conspired with ABVP students, a section of faculty and non-teaching staff to return to the university and resume duties as the vice chancellor.

The JAC said it was opposing Appa Rao's return from leave because he was the "main accused" in the suicide of Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula. It also claimed that Rao returned as vice chancellor to influence the ongoing judicial inquiry into the suicide.

The JAC vowed to continue its fight for justice, saying the police brutality only increased strengthened their resolve.

Yesterday, HCU vice-chancellor Appa Rao Podile's official residence was vandalised by students and police had to baton charge another group during their protest against him resuming charge after a two-month leave in the wake of suicide by Vemula. Notably, the mother and brother of the Dalit research scholar had last month met political leaders, including Sonia Gandhi, Sitaram Yechury and K C Tyagi, seeking their support for enactment of a 'Rohith Act' against caste discrimination in educational institutions.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Mar 23, 2016 17:59:48 IST