Hyderabad: Hyderabad Central University (HCU) students have demanded the reinstatement of ‘Velivada,’ a temporary structure with portraits of anti-caste icons, on the campus.
The students have also said that their protest will continue if HCU Vice Chancellor Dr Appa Rao is not removed from the post and arrested.
‘Velivada’ was put up on the campus when Rohith Vemula and his friends were evacuated from their hostel in 2016. Vemula had spent his last few days before he allegedly committed suicide at the place where ‘Velivada’ was erected.
Vemula, a Ph.D. scholar at the HCU, was found hanging from a ceiling fan in a hostel room on January 17, 2016. He was reportedly upset over the disciplinary action that was taken against him by the university authorities.
The agitating students, protesting under the banner of ‘Justice for Rohith’ surrounded the university administration building on Monday, demanding an explanation from the authorities about the removal of the temporary structure.
The students reclaimed the space of Velivada by placing small portraits of Dalit icons like Dr BR Ambedkar, Jyotiba Phule, Savitribai Phule, and others, which were demolished by the administration a few days ago, after which they marched to the administration building by holding the portraits.
Students from many organisations like Ambedkar Students’ Association, Bahujan Students’ Front, Dalit Students’ Union, and Students’ Federation of India are taking part in the agitation.