PM should sack ministers, apologise for Dalit’s suicide: Kejriwal

New Delhi, Jan 19 (IANS) Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to sack the two ministers who allegedly interfered in the internal matters of the University of Hyderabad, culminating in a Dalit student’s suicide.

He also sought the prime minister’s apology to the Dalit community over the suicide on Sunday by Rohith Vemula, a second-year research scholar of science, technology and society studies department at Hyderabad university.

“I strongly urge the prime minister to immediately sack the two ministers, order a high-level judicial probe and personally tender an apology to the aggrieved family, the Dalit community and the people of this country,” Kejriwal said in a statement here.

Rohith was found hanging from the ceiling of a room in the New Research Scholars’ Hostel late on Sunday. He was one of the five Dalit students suspended and expelled from the hostel and was staging a protest on the campus for the past 15 days.

“On January 18, the country watched how two powerful cabinet ministers – Human Resource Minister Smriti Irani and Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya – endorsed and abetted Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad’s systematic targeting campaign to first socially ostracise five Dalit students at the University of Hyderabad, deny them access to library facilities and finally have them suspended from the university itself,” the chief minister said.

“The searing injustice of these actions was such that it finally took Rohith’s life. In his suicide note, he describes the oppressive weight of caste-based prejudices. This incident has shaken the collective conscience of the entire nation,” Kejriwal said.

Earlier in the morning, Kejriwal described the suicide as “murder of democracy, social justice and equality”.

“It’s not suicide. It’s murder. It’s murder of democracy, social justice and equality. (Prime Minister Narendra) Modiji should sack the (two) ministers and apologise to the nation,” Kejriwal said in a tweet.

“(The) Modi government (is) constitutionally duty bound to uplift Dalits. Instead, Modiji’s ministers got five Dalit students ostracised and suspended,” the chief minister tweeted.

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