Rohith Vemula suicide: As students rage against interim chief, HCU mulling changes to top management

The Hyderabad Central University (HCU) administration is reportedly considering changes in top management as it faces relentless protests after the suicide of one of its scholars - Rohith Vemula that has now become red hot political football over Dalit rights.

Rohith Vemula suicide: As students rage against interim chief, HCU mulling changes to top management

Rohit Vemula. Twitter/@akslal

The Indian Express reports that the university administration is actively considering a proposal to replace interim Vice-Chancellor Prof Vipin Srivastava with a senior faculty memberfrom the Chemistry Department.

Srivastava took charge as the interim V-C after Prof Appa Rao Podile went on indefinite leave Sunday. Srivastava headed the committee that recommended suspension for five Dalit students, including Rohith Vemula. Vemula committed suicide on January 17. Students erupted in protest after Srivastava's appointment as interim chief, alleging that he harassed other Dalit students too.

“Right now, students on hunger strike are not even willing to speak to him (Srivastava). We are keen to break the impasse…Maybe the second senior-most professor could be brought in,” a senior faculty member privy to the proposal told The Indian Express.

Venkaiah Naidu says rivals trying to gain mileage

Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday alleged that BJP's political rivals are trying to gain political mileage out of the tragedy instead of addressing the core issue.

"When an unfortunate incident happens, instead of condemning it, going into its roots as to why this unfortunate incident happened, why a youth lost his life, how the discrimination is to be eliminated, what are the changes to be made, what changes are to be brought in thinking, what changes are to be brought into the system, making it into a political pilgrimage and making it a tool of votebank politics (is condemnable), the world is looking at this amazed," he said.

BJP's political rivals are trying to gain political capital by trying to "defame" the government when such incidents (like alleged suicide of Rohith Vemula in HCU) happened, he alleged.

Taking a dig at Congress, he asked what did "those in power for 50-60 years" do for Dalits.

"When 10 or 20 students committed suicide then, had governments intervened, then the situation would not have come to this. Why did it not intervene then? People are asking those who are going on (political) pilgrimages now and making political speeches. But they do not have an answer," Naidu said.

Such parties are only trying to "hurt" the country's image by "polluting" social atmosphere, he charged.

"It is a challenge for us if somebody commits suicide due to caste discrimination. Everybody needs to introspect. All need to focus attention on how to change the system. 'Sarva Dharma Samabhavana' is our policy. Our (BJP) slogan is 'sab ke saath, sab ka vikas'," he said.

Alleging that "political intolerance" is the biggest challenge faced by the country, he said those who lost power have adopted a "4D or 5D" formula to defame the government.

"Disrupt-disrupting parliament, Delay-delaying laws, Defame-defaming government, Disinform-spreading misinformation to people," he said, speaking at the BJP office during Republic Day celebrations.

With Agencies

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Updated Date: Jan 27, 2016 02:51:15 IST

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