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HRD Minister assures expelled Ambedkar university students of action, orders inquiry

NEW DELHI: In order to not repeat an incident like Rohith Vemula, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar has instituted an inquiry to look into the matter of rustication of eight Dalit students from Ambedkar university, Lucknow.

On September 8, eight Dalit students were expelled by the Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University (BBAU) administration for allegedly attacking a teacher and vandalising his vehicle.

The students on Wednesday met the HRD Minister in Delhi and made him aware of the situation. According to the students, the minister told them that he was instituting an inquiry into the matter and would make sure that the expelled students got justice.

In the incident that took place in September, the teacher whom the students allegedly attacked had lodged an FIR against six Dalit students. A few days later, the expelled students lodged a counter FIR alleging that they were attacked by the teacher and his supporters, who made ‘casteist’ remarks.

In the days following the incident, Dalit students across different educational institutions came out in support of the expelled BBAU students demanding justice.

In a meeting held with Vice Chancellors of all Central Universities last month, the HRD Minister had made it clear that he did not want incidents like the Rohith Vemula case to be repeated on campuses and that no student should face injustice.

Javadekar had also declared that the HRD ministry will ask all colleges universities to institute a grievance redressal cell which could look into such incidents. “We do not want any more suicides in the campus, the ministry is serious about this,” the minister had said after the meeting with VCs.