Kushwaha defends HRD Ministry, says ‘don’t politicise’ Dalit scholar’s suicide

New Delhi, Jan. 19 (ANI): Minister of State (MoS) for Human Development Upendra Kushwaha on Tuesday said it was wrong to pin the blame on the HRD Ministry for the suicide of a Dalit scholar in Hyderabad and added that the matter should not be politicised, as apt action would be initiated based on the recommendation of the fact finding committee.

“The HRD Ministry must not be targeted in this case. Nevertheless, we are focusing on the matter at hand. A fact finding committee is doing its job and investigating the incident. Action will be taken only after we get the report,” Kushwaha told ANI.

Taking a passive stand over the ‘politicisation’ row that has erupted over the scholar’s suicide, he said that parties have the right to go and visit the university and interact with the students but ‘politicising’ the matter was unfair.

“If an individual goes there to show his concern, then it should not be seen in a political light as there is nothing wrong in it and they have the right to do so. But I don’t think that this incident should be politicized,” Kushwaha added.

He also defended Minister of State for Labour Bandaru Dattatreya, who has been charged with abetting the suicide of the Dalit scholar, saying that it was unfair to level any allegations against him until he was proven guilty.

“You can’t demand his resignation and it is unfair to do so until all the facts come out after the investigation,” he said.

Dattatreya has been charged with abetting the suicide of the Dalit scholar and he has also been booked under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes Prevention of Atrocities Act following allegations that he orchestrated the suspension of Rohith Vermula and four other Dalit students from the University hostel.

The Centre has formed a two-member probe committee as the incident triggered protests in Hyderabad and the national capital yesterday.

However, HRD Minister Smriti Irani maintained that the government will not intervene in the case.

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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