Rohith Vemula’s Suicide: Protests, Political Attacks Intensify

Rahul Gandhi and Arvind Kejriwal lead political attacks against BJP for Dalit scholar’s suicide in Hyderabad.

2 min read
Police detain a girl students during a protest against the Ministry of Human Resource Development in New Delhi on Monday over the suicide of a PhD scholar Rohith Vemula at University of Hyderabad. (Photo: PTI)

Fresh protests erupted at various places across the country on Monday over the alleged suicide by a dalit scholar in Hyderabad. Members of a social outfit even tried to hold a demonstration outside the residence of Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, who has been named as an accused in the suicide case.

The Congress and Aam Aadmi Party slammed the government over the issue and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi visited the university and interacted with students there.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the incident, demanding that he should sack the Union Minister accused in the matter and apologise to the nation.

Expressing “solidarity” with other students protesting over the incident, students of FTII today sat on a day-long hunger strike outside the institute’s gate.

We are in solidarity with students protesting the death of Rohit Vemula, and as many as eight students from the Film & Television Institute of India have sat on hunger strike for a day.

Harishankar Nachimuthu, President, FTII Students’ Association

The hunger strike started with eight students and slowly more students are joining, he said.

Going on the offensive on the dalit student’s suicide, Congress demanded that HRD Minister Smriti Irani should be removed along with Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, against whom a FIR has been lodged.

Party spokesperson Kumari Selja told reporters that both Irani and Dattatreya should resign or else Prime Minister Narendra Modi should take action against the two by sacking them.

She said that the HRD Minister has “misguided” the whole country as she had written a number of letters on the issue and that Dattatreya was “against dalit students in order to promote ABVP”.

There is much more than what meets the eye. The Prime Minister must speak out on the matter and take action against the ministers. The Prime Minister should break his silence. This is not the first time that BJP ministers have worked against the interest of dalits.

(With agency inputs)

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