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Rohith Vemula’s mother to launch ‘Mothers for nation’ yatra

HYDERABAD: On the fourth death anniversary of Hyderabad Central University research scholar Rohith Vemula, who committed suicide due to the alleged caste discrimination and oppression, his mother on Friday announced launching ‘Mothers for Nation’ yatra, a campaign for social justice and protection of the basic principles of the Constitution.

In this yatra, she will be joined by mothers of Payal Tadavi and Najeeb Ahmed, Radhika Vemula said at a meeting held here to mark her son’s fourth death anniversary.

Payal Tadvai was a medical student of Mumbai who committed suicide in May last year following caste discrimination by her seniors while Najeeb Ahmed, a student of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), is missing since October 2016.

A meeting to pay tributes to Rohit Vemula was organized here by ‘We the People by Citizens Against NRC-CAA-NPR’, a nationwide platform.

It was on this day in 2016 that Rohit committed suicide at the Hyderabad Central University hostel after he, along with five other Dalit students, were suspended by the university administration following a clash with students belonging to the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).

The 27-year-old had left a suicide note in which he wrote how identity of an individual was reduced to a vote, a thing and a number. He expressed his anguish over the discrimination students like him have to face.

“Rohit had said four years ago that a citizen is reduced to a vote and a number. Today they are trying to deny even this identity to people,” said Radhika referring to Citizenship (Amendment) Act and proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC).

She said she lost her son because she did not know how to save him. “Now, we mothers have decided to work together to save our nation. As mothers who have lost our children to injustice and oppression, we will fight against CAA-NPR-NRC,” she said.

“Let Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah prove where they come from first,” said Radhika adding that her blood is boiling to see the excesses being committed on students at Jamia Millia Islamia, Aligarh Muslim University, JNU and other universities.

Addressing the meeting, Swaraj India president Yogendra Yadav said Rohit’s letter can be read hundreds of times and hundreds of angles. He said freedom fighter Bhagat Singh had shared similar ideals in his letters.

He said that justice day was being observed across the country to mark Rohit’s death anniversary on Friday. He described Radhika as mother India.

Rohit’s suicide had triggered massive protests in Hyderabad Central University and triggered student unrest on campuses across the country.

His death anniversary was observed at several universities on Friday with students protesting against the CAA, NRC and NPR holding meetings to pay tributes to Rohit.