The protest was meant to begin with Vemula’s mother, Radhika Vemula, garlanding his statue inside the campus. However, with the vice chancellor issuing a circular the night before that explicitly banned ‘outsiders’ from entering the campus, students marched to the university gate.
The protest was attended by Naseem Ahmed, brother of missing Jawaharlal Nehru University student Najeeb Ahmed, Dadri victim Mohammad Akhlaq’s brother Jaan Mohammad, Rahul Sonpimple, Una attack survivors Jitu, Piyush and Ramesh Sarvaiya and Vemula’s brother Raja and mother.
The protest was peaceful but just as it was dispersing, the Telangana police detained Radhika, journalist Sudipto Mondal and a few other students. Before the protest began, the police arrested 18 students of which one had fled.
According to Mondal, those detained were not taken into custody but instead are being held in a stadium near the university campus. Mondal is writing a book on Vemula.
Makepeace Sitlhou is a freelance writer based in Bangalore. She tweets at @makesyoucakes.