Rohith Vemula’s death: ‘We are deeply hurt, expressed what’s in our heart’

Both Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who spoke before him, were visibly taken aback by the interruption.

Written by Manish Sahu , Mohd Faisal Fareed | Lucknow | Updated: January 23, 2016 7:39 am
Protests during PM’s speech in Lucknow. Pramod Adhikari Protests during PM’s speech in Lucknow. Pramod Adhikari

The two Dalit students who interrupted Prime Minister Narendra Modi have told The Indian Express that they were “upset” over his silence on Rohith Vemula’s death.

‘Narendra Modi go back’ and ‘Rohith hum sharminda hain, Dronacharya abhi zinda hai (Rohith, we are ashamed that Dronacharya is still alive)’ — these were the slogans Ram Karan Nirmal and Amrendra Kumar Arya shouted as Modi began his address, before being escorted away by security personnel.

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Both Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who spoke before him, were visibly taken aback by the interruption.

Station Officer at Ashiyana police station Santosh Kumar Tiwari said the students were taken into custody under CrPC section 151 for breach of peace and later released on personal bonds. The two have completed their LLB from Banaras Hindu University and LLM in Human Rights from Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University (BBAU), where they had gone Friday to collect their degrees.

“We expressed what we had in our heart. We also participated in a protest near the secretariat in Delhi,” Arya said.

Nirmal, who comes from Kaushambi, and Arya, a resident of Sant Kabir Nagar, are now flatmates in the capital, where they are preparing for judicial competitive examinations.

“We were upset that our Prime Minister was not speaking on the issue. Today’s protest was only to bring to his notice that people are hurt over Rohith’s death and want an answer from him,” Arya, son of a retired government employee, said. “We both had come to Lucknow on Friday morning to collect our degrees.”

Nirmal, a gold medallist in college and the son of a farmer, said, “We students are deeply hurt over several issues, including the deaths of (Dadri lynching victim Mohammad) Akhlaq and (rationalist Narendra) Dabholkar. I raised my voice today.” He added that he has no affiliation to any political outfit.

Before the start of Modi’s programme, instructions were issued to students to maintain decorum.

BBAU vice-chancellor R C Sobti said that a few months ago, disciplinary action had been taken against Nirmal for taking out a protest march on the campus. He is known to lead protests on various issues, Sobti added.

Sobti said that since the heckling was done by a graduate, there was little he could do. “It was done by Ram Karan. He has completed his LLM and has come to collect his degree. Since he is a graduate, what can I do? The university cannot take action against graduates. It is a democracy… They have already collected their mark-sheet and there is no way to prevent them from taking the degree,” Sobti said.

When contacted, the BBAU Proctor said, “No student from our university has been taken into police custody. The matter was resolved as the student was taken away from the hall.”

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  1. K
    Karunakaran
    Jan 23, 2016 at 1:37 am
    About 200 million Dalits will be voting against the BJP and the selfie-hunting joker at the next Lok Sabha elections in 2019. BJP was super lucky to receive 31% votes at the last Lok Sabha elections. At the next Lok Sabha election, BJP cannot get more than about 15% of the votes. No Muslim votes. No Dalit votes. No South India votes. No Delhi votes. No Bihar votes. And believe it or not, hardly any Gujarat votes! So get ready for Mr Nitish Kumar to be the next PM.
    Reply
    1. P
      Prasenjit Biswas
      Jan 23, 2016 at 5:27 am
      THis protest by students whose minds are without fear tells about the level of intolerance created in this country. Even the university is becoming a place of intolerance. Instead of answering issues raised by protestors the VC of the university is exactly behaving the way Hyderabad Vc behaved. The protesting students are disallowed to stay on campus, but under which rule of the university? Isn't all this arbitrary as dissent is the lifeline of a university. Rohit Vemula' case exposes union government's atude to higher education.
      Reply
      1. K
        K M
        Jan 23, 2016 at 7:19 am
        A section of students aided and abetted by leftists parties are deliberately creating chaos in our universities even in IITs in the name of agitations on matters not related to their studies. It is these fringe elements responsible for organising beef parties, love -kiss parties and spreading rabid hatred against the majority community. Unless these fellows are dealt with firmly, our unis will become totally useless. As such there are no takers for teaching profession. Now the situation will become worse as teachers belonging to forward commnunites are being made scapegoats.
        Reply
        1. K
          K M
          Jan 23, 2016 at 7:23 am
          We are also deeply hurt from the way reservations being extended perennially.
          Reply
        2. K
          K M
          Jan 23, 2016 at 7:21 am
          Yes people like you will elect leaders like Lallu, Mamta etc., and the results are for every one to see.
          Reply
          1. M
            Me Marathi
            Jan 23, 2016 at 10:36 am
            These sc*ms Nirmal and arya are a blot to Indians. They are spoiling buddhists image of India. They need to be strictly reprimanded and a strict vigil to be kept on them . That may prevent their brain washing from lullah owaisi and church stooges.
            Reply
            1. M
              Me Marathi
              Jan 23, 2016 at 10:34 am
              You are brain washed jihiadi just like rohit. Only solution is to give you 3rd degree or a gautonamo. That may make you sane and sound. If that doesn't works out , like a mad dog , you need to be put down.
              Reply
              1. M
                Me Marathi
                Jan 23, 2016 at 4:35 am
                Nirmal and arya should be given strict warning and should be kept under a watch. Care should be taken that they are not brain washed by mullahs and owaisi types.
                Reply
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