‘Velivada will rise again’: Protest at University of Hyderabad enters 2nd day

Hyderabad Desk

Hyderabad: The protest at the University of Hyderabad (UoH) over the suspension of 5 students, including the union president, entered its second day on Tuesday, June 25.

The protesters are camped near the statue of Rohith Vemula at Velivada, which in Telugu translates to “Dalit Ghetto”. The protest site of Rohith and his accomplices after the former’s alleged institutional murder came to be popularly referred to as Velivada. The site now holds a bust sculpture erected by students in memory of Rohith.

On the night of June 24, the students’ union declared an indefinite strike after garlanding the statue.

Five students Kripa Maria George, G Mohith, Asika VM, Sohel Ahmed and the University of Hyderabad student union president Ateeq Ahmed were suspended earlier this month for protesting against the arbitrary cancellation of the annual cultural fest, at VC lodge premises without permission.

“We started our Velivada, here, yesterday night. The protest is intensifying and cannot be curbed by these suspensions and further exclusion from campus spaces. Today, the whole campus started discussing the suspension of the students’ union president and others. Soon the discussion will spread beyond the four walls of the campus,” said a suspended University of Hyderabad student, G Mohith.

The university has forgotten Velivada which emerged and questioned them eight years ago. We are going to remind them what a Velivada can do on this campus and it will rise again. Our struggle and resistance won’t be stopped till justice will be delivered,” he added.

An FIR has been registered against the five students, and they, along with an additional five students, have been fined Rs 10,000 each. They have also been asked to vacate the hostel premises by July 1.

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Speaking to Siasat.com, the protesters expressed anxieties about losing fellowships and an uncertain future looming over them.

“Studying at University of Hyderabad was our dream. Now our future is uncertain. We will lose our fellowships. It is hard to pursue PhD in India without a fellowship under current circumstances. And two of us (protestors) have to complete coursework by the upcoming semester. If we do not submit it, we will lose our PhDs,” said one student protestor who did not wish to remain unnamed.

“The university has dismissed all our pleas. The administration has no remorse for doing it to their students,” the protestor added.

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