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A few Dalit faculty members of DU, JNU, Jamia along with Dalit writers and activists today demanded implementation of the Sukhadeo Thorat committee's recommendation against caste-based discrimination at educational institutions. The demand came against the backdrop of the death of the MPhil student of JNU, J Muthukrishnan who was found hanging at a friend's residence earlier this week. Annie Raja of National Federation of Indian Women said, "This is a political issue as discrimination itself is a part of a fascist and 'brahminical' political agenda. We need to stage a political struggle against such discrimination. We need to question the non-implementation of the Thorat committee recommendations." Rubbishing the claim that since there is no suicide note in Krishnan's case it can't be a case of caste discrimination, professor Hemlata Mahishwar of Jamia said, "He didn't have a penny for food a week ago and a student gave him two dosas he asked for the third. He was so hungry.
This is the situation of our Dalit students and this is what they face in educational institutions. Prior to Rohith Vemula, were there any suicide notes? Does that mean there has been no discrimination?" Bal Gangadhar Bagi, research Scholar, JNU said, "The position in which we found the body with the leg touching the floor, this can't be suicide. After Vemula, Krishanan's death is a message of the kind of discrimination happening in JNU." The committee constituted under the chairmanship of Sukhadeo Thorat had made strong recommendations to uplift the status of minority students and teachers. The committee had tabled its report in 2011. Thorat committee was the first ever committee constituted to study caste discrimination in higher education sector.
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