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Mothers of Rohit Vemula, Payal Tadvi move SC seeking measures to end caste discrimination on campuses


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Mothers of Payal Tadvi and Rohith Vemula who had committed suicide over alleged caste discrimination, have moved a petition in the Supreme Court seeking directions for strict measures to end caste discrimination in university campuses.
Abeda Salim Tadvi and Radhika Vemula, mothers of Payal Tadvi and Rohit Vemula respectively, in their petition sought a direction for strict compliance of UGC regulation of 2012 which restricts such discrimination.
Radhika Vemula had earlier this year vowed to fight the communal forces, which she alleged were responsible for her son's death.
The petition also sought that a direction to be issued to all Universities and HEI's to establish Equal Opportunity Cells on the lines of such other existing anti-discrimination internal complaints mechanisms.
Tadvi, who belonged to the Scheduled Tribe community, had allegedly ended her life in her hostel room at BYL Nair Hospital here on May 22, allegedly after facing harassment from her seniors due to her caste.
On the other hand, Vemula, a PhD scholar at the Hyderabad Central University, was found hanging from a ceiling fan in a hostel room on January 17, 2016. He was allegedly upset over disciplinary actions that were taken against him by the university.
The petitioners sought an order from the Apex Court to direct the respondents -- Union of India and University Grants Commission -- to direct all universities including deemed universities and higher educational institutions (HEI) to ensure compliance with the UGC Equity Regulations in letter and in spirit.
"The internal complaints mechanism should include members from the SC, ST communities and independent representatives from NGO's or social activists to ensure objectivity and impartiality in the process and any such direction that the Court may issue," the petition said.
The petition sought direction to all universities and HEI's to upload on their websites all measures for elimination of caste-based discrimination and procedure.
It also sought a direction from the court with respect to the punishments for breaching any law and to ensure a wider outreach through publicity and participation of governmental and non-governmental actors on the UGC Equity Regulations.

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First Published: Aug 28 2019 | 7:34 PM IST

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