The University of Hyderabad’s executive council has revoked the suspension of four Dalit students who were barred, along with Rohith Vemula, from using the library, cafe and hostel. The council arrived at the decision four days after Vemula hung himself on campus.
Vemula’s suicide not only caused a political and public uproar, but students and the opposition also alleged that he was a victim of caste bias. Though the government denied this, Union HRD minister Smriti Irani stated that caste was the least vital factor in Vemula’s suicide, even as fudging the facts.
The decision to cancel Vemula’s friends’ eviction comes after 15 Dalit teachers had resigned, accusing Union HRD minister Smriti Irani of distorting facts.
In August, Vemula, 26, and four of his friends—they were Ambedkar Students’ Association’s members, clashed with the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), the student wing of the BJP.
Susheel Kumar of the ABVP filed a police case aleging that he nad been assaulted by Vemula and other Dalit students. An inquiry found that Ambedkar Students’ Association members had done no wrong; a second probe found the opposite, leading to the students eviction.
The Dalit university teachers say Irani has said the second inquiry was headed by a Dalit teacher. They say their association was given token representation on the panel that studied the incident.