India

Uttar Pradesh: Dalit PhD student of Gorakhpur university attempts suicide

Allegedly harassed by Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gorakhpur University teachers, 25-year-old Deepak Kumar, a research scholar in philosophy, consumed poison and was rushed to BRD Medical College

Courtesy: ddugorakhpuruniversity.in

Sunita Shahi

Deepak Kumar would not have survived had his friends not rushed him to BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur in time on Thursday, late September 20 afternoon. Allegedly harassed by Deen Dayal Upadhyaya University teachers, the 25-year-old research scholar in the philosophy department had consumed poison after posting a video on social sites about the way Prof CP Srivatava, dean of art faculty and Prof Dwarka Nath were allegedly cursing and victimising him every day because he belonged to the Dalit community and had chosen Dr DN Yadav as his research guide.

Deepak had lodged a complaint against the two senior members of the university with Vice Chancellor VK Singh.

Deepak’s father Jagdish Kumar, who rushed to Gorakhpur from his village in Chauri Chaura tehsil after receiving news of the suicide attempt by his son, told reporters in the hospital that instead of helping the research scholar, the VC had informed Prof Srivastava and Prof Nath about the complaint.

“Deepak had met the VC on September 6. On September 18, some goons threatened him with dire consequences if he made any more complaint against Prof Srivastava and Prof Nath. This clearly indicated that the VC was supporting those who were harassing my son. The doctors told me that a delay of even a minute would have been dangerous for my son”, said Jagdish, a farmer.

"The condition of Deepak is improving", added Jagdish.

Deepak had lodged a complaint against the two senior members of the university with Vice Chancellor VK Singh. Deepak’s father Jagdish Kumar told reporters in the hospital that instead of helping the research scholar, the VC had informed the professors about the complaint

Rohit Vemula, a Dalit research scholar in University of Hyderabad, had committed suicide under similar circumstances in January 2016. Vemula’s fellowship was stopped because he had raised issues related to the university’s administration and caste-based discrimination.

Addressing the students of Bhimrao Ambedkar University in Lucknow on January 22, 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had shed tears and dubbed Vemula as “son of Maa Bharati.”

Gorakhpur is the fief of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who allegedly takes undue interest in the university affairs.

Dr Harsh Kumar Sinha, PRO of the university said, “A three-member committee headed by Dr SK Dixit, pro-VC will conduct an inquiry into the incident.”

Professors Srivastava and Nath have claimed that somebody was conspiring against them.

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