JNU student Kanhaiya Kumar at the gates of Hyderabad Central University where Rohith Vemula committed suicide.
Hyderabad: Kanhaiya Kumar, the Delhi student who was arrested on sedition charges, was not allowed to enter the Hyderabad University where Rohith Vemula committed suicide in January. The university, tense after clashes yesterday, had said no outsiders would be allowed on campus.
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Unable to enter the campus, Mr Kumar, 28, delivered a short speech at the university's main gates. "How many Rohiths will you kill?" he chanted, alleging that students are being refused the right to dissent.
Mr Kumar was meant to meet on campus with friends of Mr Vemula, a Dalit student who hanged himself in his hostel a month after alleging caste discrimination.
University officials said they had not granted permission for the event, which was to take place in a section where a makeshift memorial for Mr Vemula has been constructed.
Before arriving at the university, Mr Kumar met Mr Vemula's mother and vowed "to get justice" for the PhD scholar who ended his life.
Mr Vemula's mother is holding a sit-in protest at the gate of the campus. "Vice Chancellor Appa Rao killed my son, why is he back?" she said.
34 students and two professors were arrested last evening and charged with vandalising the office of the university's top official, Vice Chancellor Appa Rao. They have been sent to Cherlapally Jail. Their arrests have fuelled tension.
The students say that the Vice Chancellor should be fired because he did not intervene when Mr Vemula complained of caste discrimination a month before he ended his life.
The Vice Chancellor returned to work yesterday; he had proceeded on leave amid the outrage that followed Mr Vemula's suicide.
Mr Kumar and Mr Vemula's friends want an urgent legislation dubbed "The Rohith Act" to check and punish caste discrimination at colleges.
Mr Kumar's arrest last month from Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University or JNU sponsored a fierce national debate on whether the government is trying to crush dissent and free speech. After he was released from jail, Mr Kumar delivered a gripping speech at JNU, declaring Rohith Vemula his hero.