A group of Students Federation of India (SFI) members allegedly thrashed two Dalit and three OBC students on University of Hyderabad (UoH) campus on Saturday. The five were attacked around 1 am following an argument between the SFI members and MA student Karthik Mulkala. K Jaswanth Simone, an M Phil student who had earlier written an article explaining why Dalit PhD scholar Rohith Vemula had left Marxists, was beaten when he tried to rescue Mulkala. He was taken to a hospital and later discharged. The other students assaulted were identified as Kranthi Madiga, Chandan Kumar Mishra, Zakir, Ditty Suresh and a guest of Mulkala.
Mulkala said that the trouble started after SFI students asked Chandan Kumar Mishra, an MPhil student, for a match box. “When he said he did not have one, they asked him to fetch one which he refused to do so,’’ said Mulkala, a close friend of Vemula, who committed suicide in January 2016. “Meanwhile, one SFI member picked up an argument with me over our political views after which we were surrounded and they started beating us.’’ He added that friends who came to their rescue them were beaten up.
Mulkala blamed caste prejudices for the “unprovoked attack’’, saying that they were attacked for their political views as they belong to Dalit and OBC communities. He added that their attackers belong to forward castes. “This does not happen with ABVP or NSUI members. They beat up students from backward castes especially if they have their own political views and are critical of SFI.’’
Mulkala said that they are politically unaffiliated. “We are not Ambedkarites or members of Ambedkar Students Association. So why this brutal attack on us?’’ he asked. He identified his attackers as Atul Swapna Prakash, Varun Sudharan, Siddharth Majula Suresh and Sunny. The five would lodge a police complaint if the university administration does not take any action.