A former student of Presidency College and a research fellow started a hunger strike for an indefinite period outside Jadavpur University demanding justice in connection with the death of the Rohith Vemula, who had committed suicide on Sunday.
The hunger strike of Deboshree Chakraborty attracted attention of many other students and some even expressed their willingness to join him from Saturday.
Chakraborty, who passed out from Presidency College in 2014, said: “I decided to initiate the hunger strike to support the students from across the country those are taking part in the demonstrations demanding justice for Vemula and his family members. At the same time my protest is also against the attacks on Dalits in different parts of the country.”
“I feel that the movement which I have started here in Kolkata will help to create awareness among people to abolish caste system,” he said, adding that students of many colleges and universities have shown interest in joining the movement.
Chakraborty initiated his hunger strike from Thursday night and “he will be continuing the strike until and unless demands of the student community in connection with the death of Vemula are not met”.
In reply to the question that why he chose the place outside Jadavpur University to sit for hunger strike, he said, “My initial plan was to sit somewhere at College Square. But at present some people are continuing their hunger strike there in connection with some other issues. So I chose the place outside Jadavpur University. The reason being Jadavpur University was the centre of many movements in the past.”
His friends on Friday held rallies in different parts of the city to make people aware about the incidents in which Dalits were tortured. They also organised a rally outside Jadavpur University this evening. Similar rallies will be organised in North and South 24-Parganas in the next two days, Chakraborty said.
When contacted, a police officer said that they had received information about the hunger strike and precautionary measures have been taken to ensure that nothing untoward takes place in the area.