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Most students remanded belong to ‘disadvantaged strata’

Nikhila-Henry

For some families, the current situation is a reminder of what they underwent in the past. Out of the 25, D. Prashanth was a student who was earlier expelled from hostels and public spaces along with Rohith Vemula, the deceased research scholar. A close relative of Mr. Prashanth who did not want to be identified said, “It is only after the demise of Rohith that the other four students got a respite from expulsion. Now, when he demanded justice police cases were slapped on him and others.”

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Utharakalam Admin

Students mostly hailing from deprived socio-economic backgrounds have been sent to 14-day judicial custody after they staged protests at UoH following the return of Vice-Chancellor, P. Appa Rao to campus.

Among the 25 protesters who were arrested on March 22, at least 15 are first generation literates who came to study in this institution of higher learning even as they hail from disadvantaged communities including Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims and Bahujans. More, put together they represent five States- Andhra Pradesh Telangana, Kerala, West Bengal and Orissa.

Even the political backgrounds of the student leaders in custody are diverse as it ranges from Ambedkar Students Association (ASA) and Students Federation of India (SFI) to Madiga Students Front (MSF), Students Islamic Organisation (SIO), Tribal Students Forum (TSF) and National Students Union of India (NSUI). For those who are still on UoH campus, the plight of the families of these students is worrisome. “We had to call up families and tell them that their children are in lock-up. Most of them were in a state of shock and wanted to rush to Hyderabad even as they couldn’t,” said Ayoob Rahman, a student of UoH. For some, whose families have reached Hyderabad the news was indigestible. “It is not the case of just one student. All families must be equally troubled and worried about the state of affairs. We need to know why the police beat up these students and arrested them,” said N. Ramesh, a family member of D. Harish who hails from Srikakulam. Families of those who hail from Kerala, Orissa and Bengal have not yet arrived in Hyderabad.

As families of most are not in a position to take the financial burden that accompanies the court case, it is a group of students and well wishers who pooled in money for the legal battle which began here on Thursday.

For some families, the current situation is a reminder of what they underwent in the past. Out of the 25, D. Prashanth was a student who was earlier expelled from hostels and public spaces along with Rohith Vemula, the deceased research scholar. A close relative of Mr. Prashanth who did not want to be identified said, “It is only after the demise of Rohith that the other four students got a respite from expulsion. Now, when he demanded justice police cases were slapped on him and others.”

Among 25 protesters arrested on March 22, at least 15 are first generation literates.
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Published : The Hindu- March 25, 2016

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