JNU Dalit Scholar Threatens Suicide If Research Grant Is Not Resumed

27/01/2016 9:24 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
Jai Pandya/Flickr

NEW DELHI -- Amid a nationwide outrage over the alleged suicide of a research scholar in Hyderabad university, a Dalit student of JNU has sent two letters to the Vice Chancellor threatening to end his life if his research grant is not extended next year.

While H Sharma, the varsity's Controller of Examinations, said that the extension of his senior research fellowship was withheld as he had not been able to get clearance from the finance officer, outgoing Vice Chancellor S K Sopory said the matter will be resolved soon and asked the university's chief security officer to keep an eye on the student.

Alleging that he has been "discriminated and harassed" by his department which is trying to "block his PhD", the Dalit researcher has demanded resumption of his fellowship in a week's time or he would commit suicide.

In a separate letter, he contended that he was absent from the university for a certain period due to death of four members of his family, including his father and brother, and now that he has resumed his studies, he wants his fellowship to continue.

The researcher with International Organisation (ORG) division, CIPOD, had received an advance payment of Rs 66,000 for his field trip to Brussels, Belgium.

"The student was supposed to return this advance amount to allow his fellowship to continue. But the money has not been returned. Also, the researcher deregistered himself as a JNU student between December 2013 and July 2015," Sharma said.

The Vice Chancellor, who demits office tomorrow said, the matter will be resolved at the earliest and till then the student is being counselled.

The threat letter by the student comes at a time when there is widespread outrage over death of 26-year-old Vemula Rohith, a Dalit PhD scholar, who was found hanging in a hostel room in Hyderabad Central University on January 17.

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