While the students lamented the discontinuation of internet service at the University of Hyderabad today, another disturbing news emerged midday, leaving them upset. A fake appeal with a bank account number and IFSC code on the name of one Savitri Devi has apparently been doing the rounds on Facebook. The people behind the fake account have been appealing for donations for the family of Rohith Vemula, the Dalit student who committed suicide.
Social media has been overflowing with condolences and expressions of solidarity or dissent since Rohith’s death on January 17. In the midst of it all, this fraudulent collection of money in the name of "donation", and cashing in on the widespread social media involvement with the event, came as a shocker for the members of the joint action committee (JAC) at the university.
"We have a donation box at the information desk we have set up and that is the only donation we are collecting," said Amrit, who has been helping the JAC with organising the activities for the protest on campus. The money collected is being used for tents, the sound system, candles and so on. We can't use the students' union funds for this," he shared.
It is also being utilised for photocopying various documents. The whole bunch of about 21 of these documents, including Rohith's suicide note, the apology note given by the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) leader, Nandanam Susheel Kumar, and the communication between the ministry of human resources development and the Hyderabad University is available for Rs 50. Reportedly, Rs 6,000 has already been collected since Wednesday through donations.
Nobody knows how much money might have been collected through the fake Facebook appeal.