The University of Hyderabad has reportedly revoked the suspension of four Dalit students, four days after PhD scholar Rohith Vemula hanged himself over the matter. Vemula and the four students were suspended by the university in August for allegedly assaulting Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad leader Susheel Kumar. The four students are reported to have burnt the circular revoking their suspension and said the authorities needed to do more.
It was following Kumar’s allegation that Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya had written to the Human Resource Development Ministry, which subsequently led to the students’ suspension and Vemula’s suicide. The Cyberabad Police and university authorities had told the Hyderabad High Court on Wednesday that Kumar’s claim of being assaulted was an “exaggeration”.
Kumar said on Thursday that he had read Vemula's suicide note and was "very depressed" by it, but also added that the letter did not name anybody in it. Kumar also demanded a fair inquiry into the incident, saying the reasons for Vemula's suicide must be "thoroughly examined".
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday visited the University of Hyderabad and met protesting students and Vemula's family. Kejriwal described the 25-year-old Vemula's death as a "murder of democracy". He attacked Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani, saying she spoke "one lie after another" during her press conference on Wednesday.
Dalit faculty members of the university earlier threatened to quit their administrative positions in solidarity with the protesting students, reported PTI. The University of Hyderabad SC/ST Teachers and Officers Forum condemned Irani’s remarks in a statement, saying it is unfortunate that the Union minister "misrepresented the facts" of the case by stating that the senior-most Dalit professor headed the committee that took the decision to suspend the students.