New Delhi, Jan. 20 (ANI): CPI (M) leader Brinda Karat on Wednesday lashed out at Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani for trying to conceal discrimination against Dalit students in the country and accused her of spreading more darkness than light on the sensitive issue concerning the suicide of a Dalit scholar.
“It is very very clear that it is a defence of the indefensible, to say that this is not an issue concerning Dalits students and Dalit rights but just an issue concerning two groups of students is a complete misrepresentation of facts” she said.
The CPI (M) leader also took potshots at Irani for defending the BJP’s student wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarathi Parishad (ABVP), saying her statement has very little credibility.
“I can understand a political party trying to defend their student organisation ABVP for their wrongdoing in campus, but for a minister to come out with a statement which tries to whitewash the caste aspects of discrimination against Dalit students is unfortunate and has very little credibility,” she added.
Facing sharp criticism over the suicide of Dalit scholar at the University of Hyderabad, HRD Minister Irani today 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.
Irani attempted to defend Minister of State for Labour Bandaru Dattatreya, who has been charged with abetting Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula’s suicide.
The HRD Minister 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, dismissed Irani’s charge that he had written a letter demanding a ‘probe’ to be ordered into the rampant suicides by Dalit students in the University of Hyderabad.
“On 17th November, I wrote a letter to Smriti Irani regarding the issues being faced by the students and employees at the university. I said that there was misappropriation going on and that seven students had committed suicide in three semesters. I also wrote that there were cases of rape and kidnapping occurring regularly besides allegations of illegal transfer of university land,” Rao told ANI.
He added that he should have got the reply in 15 days as per the law but now Irani was bringing up his letter from 2014 for her own convenience.
Meanwhile, fierce protests continued at the Hyderabad University over the suicide of Rohith, as students expressed their dissatisfaction with Irani’s defence by burning an effigy of the HRD Minister. (ANI)