Protests escalated today over the alleged suicide by a dalit research scholar with activists of a local outfit demonstrating outside the residence of Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, who has been accused in the case, demanding his immediate resignation.
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi visited the University of Hyderabad and interacted with students over the issue even as several students in campuses outside the state came out of classes in solidarity with their counterparts here.
The activists of TJYF (Telengana Jagruti Youth Front), a cultural outfit headed by TRS MP Kalvakuntla Kavitha, raised slogans outside the house of Dattatreya at Ram Nagar here and blamed him for the death of PhD scholar Rohit Vemula, who was found hanging in his hostel room on Sunday, triggering angry reactions.
Holding placards, the protestors demanded that the minister should resign immediately.
“Thirty seven of the protesters were taken into preventive custody when they held a dharna near the Union Minister’s house,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central Zone) V B Kamalasan Reddy said.
They were later let off.
On the university campus, scores of students, who intensified their protests, demanded that Dattatreya, BJP MLC Ramchander Rao, university’s Vice Chancellor P Appa Rao and two ABVP leaders, against whom cases were registered for abetting suicide of Rohit, be jailed.
Raising slogans like “We want justice”, they held Dattatreya and others responsible for Rohit’s death and took out a rally on the campus.
Resignation of the Vice Chancellor, immediate revocation of suspension of the four students by the university, employment to a member of Rohit’s family, an ex-gratia of Rs 50 lakh were among the other demands made by the agitators.
Rohit was among the five research scholars who were suspended by the university in August last year and also one of the accused in the case of assault on a student leader.