Dalit scholar’s suicide sparks protests

HYDERABAD: Indian police on Monday fired water cannons to disperse students protesting the death of a young Dalit scholar who committed suicide after he was suspended from university, a case some have blamed on caste-based discrimination. Rohit Vemula, a 26-year-old doctoral student at the university of Hyderabad, was found hanged on Sunday evening, triggering protests in the southern city and New Delhi. He was one of five students, all from India’s lowest Dalit social caste, to be suspended by the university after they were accused of assaulting the head of a right-wing student political group — a charge they denied. Hyderabad police have registered preliminary cases against the university’s vice-chancellor Appa Rao and Bandaru Dattatreya, a junior federal minister who had called for the university to punish the five.