A round-up of news, both bad and good, on the rights front from India.
HCU administration to remove Rohith Vemula Memorial?
The minutes of a meeting held at the Hyderabad Central University vice-chancellor’s office on March 24 suggests that all “unauthorised structures” from the shopping complex area on campus will be removed soon, The News Minute reports. They have also said that help from the police will be taken if required. This could refer to the Rohith Smaraka Stupa, a bust of Rohith Vemula and the tent set up by students in protest after they had been suspended from hostel. The minutes also mentioned the possibility of hiring CISF serviced on campus, according to The New Indian Express.
The Joint Action Committee for Social Justice has said they will try to ensure that this does not happen.
Jharkhand Central University revokes professor’s suspension
Following recommendations from a fact-finding committee, the vice-chancellor has revoked the suspension of associate professor Shreya Bhattacharji on Thursday, a report from The Hindu states. Bhattacharji had been suspended on Tuesday for calling retired JNU professor NM Panini to speak at the campus, who her suspension notice dubbed the “mentor of anti-nationals” at JNU.
In spite of HC order, women not allowed to enter core shrine area
Even after the Bombay High Court order saying women could enter any religious space they wanted to, the police in Ahmednagar did not allow women to enter the core shrine area of the Shani Shingnapur temple, according to an Indian Express report. Women activists from the Bhumata Mahila Brigade tried to make their way to the shrine, but were allegedly gheraoed and stopped by the police.
Raped by her neighbour, Dalit teen sets herself on fire
A 16-year old Dalit girl from a village in Ghaziabad on was raped by her neighbour on Tuesday, The Indian Express reported. The perpetrator also hurled casteist abuses at her brother and slapped when he returned home to find what had happened. After the incident, the girl set herself ablaze. She is now fighting for her life at Safdurjung Hospital.
BJP MLA suspended for two sessions over ‘derogatory’ remarks
BJP Delhi MLA OP Sharma has been suspended for two sessions for making derogatory and sexist remarks about AAP MLA Alka Lamba in November last year, Hindustan Times reported. This comes after the house ethics panel recommended his expulsion and called him a “serial offender”.
Government panel recommends reform to “outdated” family laws
According to an Indian Express report, a government appointed high-level panel has recommended several changes to India’s family laws. They have asked for change in adultery laws “based on the presumption of wife being the property of the husband”, removal of the gender discrimination inherent in laws that give a lower legal age of marriage for a girl, and a standalone law to deal solely with so-called “honour killings”.
Men in JNU to kill Kanhaiya, Umar: Navnirman Sena leader
Leader of the Meerut-based UP Navnirman Sena, who had threatened to shoot JNU students Kanhaiya Kumar and Umar Khalid by March 31, has said that his men are ready in JNU with weapons, a Times of India report states. According to Jani, 10 of his party workers who are also JNU students, have smuggled weapons onto campus and are “waiting for the right time” to kill Kumar and Khalid, during the Navratras.
Delhi police has not taken cognisance of these threats.
Gujarat assembly passes bill to curb powers of VCs
According to an Indian Express report, the BJP government passed a crucial bill on Thursday, which, if passed by the governor, will give sweeping powers to the state government in universities. The Gujarat State Higher Education Council Bill, 2016 will bring all the universities of the state under the ambit of a Higher Education Council chaired by the chief minister.
Section 15 of the Bill states: “On the recommendation of the Council, or suo-motu, the state government may direct any university with such modification as may be necessary, to implement the reforms in such manner as may be specified therein. … Notwithstanding anything contained in any law for the time being in force, it shall be obligatory on the part of the university to implement the directions given by the state government and to report the action taken to the state government and the Council accordingly. The Council shall review from time to time the compliance by the universities, of the direction given by the state government.”
Do you know of any other incident we should highlight in this column? Write to me at [email protected].