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Rohith Suicide: Action Committee For Social Justice protest by shutting down Universities

The University Strike has stepped into 10th day and the Indefinite Hunger Strike has stepped into 4th day. Meena Kandasamy, the writer and poet, sat on one day hunger strike with the protesting students.

ALL INDIA JOINT ACTION COMMITTEE FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE registered their protest by shutting down several Universities across the country. Students from Mumbai University especially women students shut down classes; students from TISS Mumbai, TIFR Mumbai boycotted classes and joined the protests on the streets in Borivali and Kalyan; Delhi University and JNU students observed University bandh; students from Central University of Kerala in Kasergod gheraoed the RSS-affiliated Registrar and formed a local JAC for social justice; students from Calicut University went on a strike and a student march. Students from Satavahana University in Karimnagar, Kakatiya University in Warangal, Telangana University in Nizamabad, MG University in Nalgonda, and in Hyderabad students from Osmania University, MANUU, JNTU, and Pottisriramulu Telugu University and several other Universities went on strike in solidarity with the on-going students’ movement in University of Hyderabad.

ABVP students are organizing themselves and constantly threatening the students that they will forcibly resume classes and diffuse the students’ movement for social justice. The agitated student volunteers and the larger student community of University of Hyderabad turned up in large numbers early in the morning and marched to all the departments and schools (walked for 9kms), gherao-ed Interim Vice-Chancellor Vipin Srivastava’s house and Alok Pandey’s house, one of the culprits booked under the SC/ST Atrocities Act and abetment of suicide, rallied to the main road outside University, blocked the road and burnt the effigy of Appa Rao Podile, Vipin Srivastava and all the culprits INCLUDING MHRD minister Smriti Irani.

The SC/ST Teachers’ Forum informed the students and media that they “will go on hunger strike on 28th January demanding the resignation of Vice-Chancellor Prof. Appa Rao Podile and the incumbent Vice-Chancellor Prof. Vipin Srivastava in order to resume academic and administrative activities (Convenor, SC/ST Teachers’ Forum). Other concerned teachers resolved to join them.

Makkal Mandram, a Kanchipuram-based Cultural Organization with Periyar, Ambedkarite Marxist thought joined the students’ protest today and performed in protest against the institutional murder of Rohith Vemula.
Twenty teachers, members of Bahujan Teachers’ Association hailing from Nellore and Prakasham districts of Andhra, will be joining us tomorrow at University of Hyderabad(28th Jan). The twenty teachers have declared that they will be sitting on relay hunger strike from tomorrow.

Students of Department of Fine Arts, University of Hyderabad registered their protest by expressing through an art form. Students created a human chain in the form of arrow depicting Rohith as Ekalavya. They used BLACK as a symbol of protest and identity against the unjust social order vis-à-vis white Brahminical unjust ideology and social practice.

Joint Action Committee for Social Justice, University of Hyderabad reiterates its stand that students will intensify struggle in days to come until all our demands are met, until the culprits are arrested, until Appa Rao Podile resigns from the post of Vice-Chancellor, until MHRD minister Smriti Irani is sacked, until false police cases are dropped, until ROHITH ACT is introduced and implemented and Rohith’s family member is employed by University of Hyderabad with the demanded compensation. We demand the immediate resignation of Vipin Srivastava from the post of interim Vice-Chancellor. We reiterate that we will continue with the University strike and Hunger strike until Vipin Srivastava steps down.