Countrywide Solidarity With Struggle for Justice for Rohith Vemula

(Some of the solidarity actions in which CPIML and its mass organizations have participated in, are summarized below).

After Rohith Vemula’s tragic suicide on 17 January, AISA and CPI(ML) have led as well as been part of several joint actions against the institutional murder of Rohith Vemula.

On the day after Rohith’s suicide, there was a massive joint protest at the MHRD office in Delhi. Students were brutally lathi charged where AISA DU activist Sudhanshu Shekhar was badly injured in the head and had to be taken to the hospital. Several others too, including AISA JNU President Shweta Raj, were injured. On 19 January, AISA-RYA called for a National Protest Day on the issue, and subsequently protests were held across the country where the MHRD letters to the administration of University of Hyderabad were released and the role of the MHRD nailed.

Besides Delhi, protests were also held in other parts of the country. AISA unit of the Madurai Kamaraj University held protests in their campus. In Patna, students, youth, cultural activists, Left-democratic activists and citizens took out a protest march which culminated in a meeting attended by CPI (ML) General Secretary Com. Dipankar, State Secretary Com. Kunal, CPI (M) leader Com. Arun, as well as Prof. Nawal Kishore Choudhary. Protests and effigy burnings were also held in Jamui, Samastipur and Bhagalpur in Bihar.

On 21 January, responding to the call issued by the Joint Action Committee in Hyderabad, a protest march was held in JNU where the effigy of MHRD Minister Smriti Irani was burnt, and in DU, AISA was a part of a protest march called by Save DU in the Arts Faculty, North Campus. On 23 January students, youth, intellectuals and other progressive sections held a protest in Chandigarh demanding action against Union ministers Smriti Irani and Bandaru Dattatreya. CPI (ML) and RYA activists actively participated in the protest.

On 24 January, AISA took the initiative to organise a public meeting in JNU. This meeting, which was addressed by ICSSR chairperson Prof. Sukhdeo Thorat, Prof. Satish Deshpande, journalist Dilip Mandal and others, was very well attended. The speakers and students also saluted the courage of students who had protested against Modi during the convocation ceremony in BBAU.

On 25 January, AIARLA, AIPWA and CPI(ML) held a protest march at Tuni in Andhra Pradesh and also gave the call for ‘Solidarity Day’ in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana on 28 January. In Delhi, a massive public meeting was organised by AISA at the DU Arts Faculty on the same day which was addressed by several faculty members and intellectuals in Delhi including DUTA President Nandita Narain, Aditya Nigam, noted journalist Dilip Mandal, artist Shuddhabrata Sengupta, AISA national president Sucheta De, JNUSU VP Shehla Rashid, and the students who protested against Modi at the BBAU convocation ceremony. AISA Bihar unit gave a call for state-wide protests on 25 January. Responding to this call, Patna University observed a strike, and protests were held at Ara, Samastipur and in other parts of the state.
On Republic Day, the AISA-RYA unit of Villupuram, Tamil Nadu, demonstrated demanding the arrest of district authorities, Vice Chancellor and others related to suicide of three girl students in SVS college; they also demanded justice for Rohith. Comrades were arrested and later released in the afternoon.

AISA has been in close touch with the JAC in Hyderabad, and has promised all possible support for the students’ struggle there. Apart from the solidarity visit on 20-21 January by a team consisting of CPI (ML) Politburo member Kavita Krishnan and former JNUSU Gen. Sec. Chintu, along with JNUSU VP Shehla, AISA leaders- former JNUSU VP Anant and former JNUSU Joint Secretary Piyush Raj have also gone to Hyderabad to be part of the ‘HCU Chalo’ call on 25 January.

A Delhi chapter of the Joint Action Committee for Social Justice has been formed, and in solidarity with the ongoing protests in Hyderabad, a massive protest has been called on 27 January 2016.

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