Congress backs Ashok Vajpeyi, reiterates demand for Dattatreya’s resignation

New Delhi, Jan. 20 (ANI): Reiterating the demand for sacking of Minister of State for Labour and Employment Bandaru Dattatreya and Hyderabad University Vice-Chancellor Appa Rao, the Congress Party on Wednesday backed writer Ashok Vajpeyi, who returned D. Litt honours conferred on him by the varsity as a mark of protest against the Dalit scholar’s suicide.

“Since the incident took place in Hyderabad University and that too due to the pressure on the VC by the HRD Ministry, he has returned his D. Litt. Writers and poets are free to express their thoughts. The BJP earlier used to say that ‘award wapasi’ was taking place due to the Bihar polls, but there are no polls going on at the moment. So, whom will they hold responsible?” Congress leader Shakeel Ahmed told ANI.

“It is very clear that the BJP’s student wing had troubled him (Rohit). It is only after pressure from Dattatreya and Smriti Irani’s ministry that the Vice Chancellor took such a step. All the three: the VC, Dattratreya and Union HRD Minister are responsible for this. The demands that they should step down from their posts is valid,” he added.

Vajpeyi had earlier returned the Sahitya Akademi Award in protest against the murder of renowned writer M.M. Kalburgi.

Rohith, a second-year research scholar of Science, Technology and Society Studies Department, and others were suspended from the hostel last year following allegations that they attacked Sushil Kumar after the screening of a controversial documentary ‘Muzaffarnagar Baaqi Hai’.

Earlier this month, five students were thrown out of the hostel after they accused the university authorities of denying them access to campus facilities, except their classrooms and workshops.

The 28-year-old from Andhra Pradesh’s Guntur district was found hanging at the hostel room of one of his friends around 7:30 p.m. on Sunday. (ANI)

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