Dalit scholar suicide: Smriti Irani’s effigy burnt at Hyderabad University

Hyderabad, Jan. 20 (ANI): Despite Union Human Resource and Development (HRD) Minister Smriti Irani’s attempt to defend the Centre over the suicide of a Dalit scholar, fierce protests were continued by the students at the Hyderabad University on Wednesday as they even took to burning her effigy.

Students chanted slogans against the Centre and Irani, demanding justice for Rohit Vemula.

They also demanded that the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) must leave the campus of the university immediately and chanted against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

Earlier today, Irani asserted that the suicide of Rohith Vemula was not a Dalit versus a non-Dalit confrontation and said that attempts were being made to ‘ignite passion’ in the case of the scholar’s suicide across communities.

She attempted to shift the blame on the previous UPA regime and said things would have been in place at the moment had the Congress taken action then and also defended Minister of State for Labour Bandaru Dattatreya, who has been charged with abetting Vemula’s suicide.

The HRD Minister also drew the attention of the media to the letter written by Congress MP Hanumantha Rao and said that he wanted a probe to be ordered on the death of students from the Telangana region.

Rao, however, hit out at Irani for bringing up the letter he had written in 2014 explaining the irregularities at the university and said that if she had paid heed to his queries then Rohit would have still been alive.

“On 17th November, I wrote a letter to Smriti Irani regarding the issues being faced by the students and employees at the university. I never said that there were any anti-social elements in the university. All I did was explain the irregularities at the university. Why did they not answer my letter? Rohit would have been alive if they had paid any heed to my queries,” Rao told ANI.

Meanwhile, the Congress has demanded an apology from Irani for saying that the case was not a ‘Dalit versus non-Dalit’ issue. (ANI)

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