STUDENTS FROM Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and Delhi University Monday were detained by police while they were on their way to Shastri Bhawan. They were going to protest against the conclusions of a one-man judicial commission, set up by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), to probe the suicide of University of Hyderabad (UoH) research scholar Rohith Vemula.
On October 6, The Indian Express had reported that former Allahabad High Court judge A K Roopanwal, in his report, had said Vemula was not a Dalit and that his mother had “branded” herself as one to reap benefits from reservation.
He also concluded that union ministers Bandaru Dattatreya and Smriti Irani were following their duty, and that there was no political pressure on the UoH administration.
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JNU students’ union (JNUSU) president Mohit Pandey said, “The bus we had hired from JNU to MHRD was stopped near the Press Club of India and taken to two different police stations. They first took us to Parliament Street police station. When we refused to get down, they took us to Mandir Marg police station. The commission parroted the government’s line on the matter. When we want to protest against it, we aren’t even allowed to do that.”
The JNUSU, in a statement, has slammed the Roopanwal Commission report, saying, “Instead of inquiring into the role of the ABVP, central government ministers Dattatreya and Irani, and the UoH VC Appa Rao in punishing Rohith Vemula for his political activism, the commission has acted as though its brief was to treat Rohith Vemula and his family as ‘the accused.”
Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi district) Jatin Narwal said, “We have detained 42 students for protesting without permission. They were let off a few hours later.”