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JNU students today tried to march to HRD ministry in remembrance of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula, who committed suicide over alleged caste based discrimination last year, but were stopped midway with the police detaining 50 of them even as protesters alleged manhandling by the cops. Hyderabad University student Vemula, had hanged himself in the university hostel on January 17 last year, sparking protests in varsities across the country over caste based discrimination. JNU students union (JNUSU) which has been protesting since then demanding enactment of Rohith Act to ensure there is no caste based discrimination in educational institutions, attempted to march to HRD ministry today from Mandi House. "The march turned into chaos when police started beating us up and forcefully detained us. They even misbehaved with female students," JNUSU President Mohit Pandey alleged. "We want the government to enact Rohith Vemula Act to end caste based discrimination in campuses," he added. According to a senior police official, "around 40 JNU students were detained from Tolstoy Road-Janpath crossing today and brought to Parliament Street police station.
They were going to protest without obtaining prior permission. We didn't detain female students but only the male students were detained, however, around 150 students had themselves come to the station". Vemula's death had also led to heated discussions in Parliament and committees were formed to probe the events leading to his death even as contradictory reports emerged over whether he was an OBC like his father or an SC like his mother. The one-man committee formed by HRD ministry had stated that he was not a Dalit.
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