Met the visually impaired JNU MPhil student Surya Prakash at his room (051) in Sabarmati Hostel where he was thrashed a day earlier with iron rods by a group of men and women reeking of rancid, cheap liquor and who used foul language replete with raunchy references to mother and sister.

These men and women also occasionally chanted 'Jai Shri Ram', he said.

His heart-rending pleas that he was 'blind' fell on deaf ears until more than 10 minutes later when someone among them realised he was speaking the truth.  

Had a long chat with him during which he talked about the darkest night of life, the whole hideous story. Surya Prakash is into powerlifting, judo and elocution. Although he is not affiliated to any party, his door bears an image of Ambedkar (there is another image inside his room) which was there before he began using this room in August (a Dalit student had previously stayed in this twin-sharing room). Some of his neighbours here think it was Ambedkar on the door that perhaps provoked his attackers. 

As he fought back excruciating pain that night, Surya Prakash tried to get help from the police multiple times, but the response he got from the cops is appalling, to say the least. "Pehle thoda pit lo, phir aayenge, " he quotes them as saying.

He says he is getting calls from random numbers that he said were meant to intimidate him not to speak to the media (he has shared some numbers from where he gets frequent calls). But he is undaunted  although he was deeply shaken on the night he got beaten up. 

Surya Prakash is from Deoria, UP. He did his MA from JNU and BA (Hons) from St Stephen's College.

Here he flaunts a certificate he won recently in an elocution competition.

(Courtesy - Ullekh NP)