Dalit scholar suicide: Paswan calls for ‘impartial’ probe by ‘independent’ agency

New Delhi, Jan. 19 (ANI): Asserting that those responsible for the suicide of a Dalit Scholar from the University of Hyderabad must not be spared at any cost, Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) leader Chirag Paswan on Tuesday expressed his condolences to the student’s family and called for an ‘impartial’ investigation into the matter.

“What happened with him is very unfortunate and the LJP stands by his family in the time of grief. An impartial investigation by an independent agency, be it the CBI, needs to be conducted and whosoever involved and responsible for Rohit taking such a step must be punished severely,” Paswan told ANI.

Expressing apprehension at the circumstances surrounding the scholar’s suicide, he added that it was a matter of great concern if a student took such a step because he was facing discrimination on the basis of his caste.

“What has happening is unsettling. Students are the future of our country and it is condemnable that a student has to take such a step because he was being discriminated. This is the 21st century and if a student takes such a step because he is a Dalit, then it is a matter of great concern,” Paswan said.

Meanwhile, a national furore has erupted over the suicide of Rohith Vemula, the Dalit Scholar who hanged himself to death on Sunday.

Students across the country staged fierce protests as the University of Hyderabad turned into a battlefield.

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi interacted with the protesting students at the university and also spoke to the parents of Rohit.

Rahul accused Minister of State for Labour and Employment Bandaru Dattatreya and varsity’s Vice Chancellor of abetting the suicide of the scholar.

“The institution, instead of operating fairly, instead of letting them speak, has used its power to crush them. The vice-chancellor and the minister in Delhi have not acted fairly. And the result is that, a student who had come here to learn, was put in so much pain that he had no other option but to end his life. The conditions that led to his suicide were created by the vice-chancellor were created by the VC, the minister and the institution,” he said.

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

Earlier this month, the five students were thrown out of the hostel amid allegations they were denied access to campus facilities, except their classrooms and respective workshops, on recommendation by an executive committee of the university.

The 28-year-old hailing from Andhra Pradesh’s Guntur district was found hanging at a friend’s hostel room around 7: 30 p.m. on Sunday. (ANI)

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