Dalit scholar suicide: Upendra Kushwaha assures students of justice, implores to stop protests

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Hyderabad, Jan. 23 (ANI): Assuring the protesting students of the University of Hyderabad that justice will be delivered in the case of Dalit scholar Rohit Vemula’s suicide, Minister of State (MoS) for Human Development Upendra Kushwaha on Saturday called on the students to put their faith in the government and said that there was no need for any demonstrations anymore.

“A judicial commission has been formed by our ministry and we want to tell the students to have faith in us and that they will get justice. There is no need to have any agitations anymore,” Kushwaha told the media here.

He added that the university will decide on the suspension of vice-chancellor Appa Rao Podile, not the government.

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“The fact finding committee gave us their report and on the basis of that a commission has been formed to make the respective enquires. They have to give their report in three months, after that the ministry will take the necessary steps,” Kushwaha said.

However, the Congress rubbished the judicial commission set up by the HRD ministry in Rohith’s case.

“The first pre-condition for a fair probe by a sitting high court judge is sacking of Irani, Dattatreya and Appa Rao, action against BJP MLC Ramchandra Rao and ABVP activists. All the accused named in the FIR should be arrested. Only then a trustworthy probe can be held,” Congress leader Randeep Surjewala said yesterday.

Meanwhile, the executive council of the University revoked the suspension of the other four Dalit PhD scholars who had been expelled, along with Rohith Vemula, in December last year.

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The announcement brought much cheer to protesting students who have been demanding that the university revoke the suspension of these students, since the day Vemula committed suicide in a hostel room.

They, however, vowed to continue their agitation unless the Centre agreed to meet their other demands that include the expulsion of university vice-chancellor, Appa Rao Podile.

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.

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

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