Minister booked for abetting Dalit student's suicide

Minister booked for abetting Dalit student's suicide

The Gachibowli police on Monday filed an FIR against senior BJP leader and Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya for abetting suicide of a  26-year-old Dalit research scholar Vemula Rohith in the University of Hyderabad.

The police also booked vice-chancellor Prof Apparao, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) leader Sushil Kumar and Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha leader Vishnu.

Rohith’s suicide evoked widespread protests by students across the country.
The Ambedkar Students Association (ASA) filed a complaint alleging that five dalit students, including Rohith, were expelled from the varsity hostel only after Dattatreya wrote to the Human Resources Development (HRD) Ministry demanding their suspension.

The association claimed that varsity officials had cleared the five students of all charges following an inquiry, but the decision was reversed following the intervention of BJP leaders.

The students pinned the blame on Dattatreya’s letter to HRD Minister Smriti Irani, which sought action against the five students, while describing the university as a “den of casteist, extremist and anti-national politics.”

Dattatreya has refuted the allegations and said that he simply forwarded a memorandum submitted by ABVP leaders to the HRD minister, after they were attacked by a section of students on campus. “My letter has no connection with the suicide case. I have written a letter because some anti-social elements were attacking ABVP members. I would not like to comment on the case against me,” said Dattatreya.

Tension prevailed on the campus on Monday with students refusing to handover Rohit’s body to the police for post-mortem. The police used mild force to disperse the agitating students and shifted the body to the Osmania Hospital later for post-mortem.

Rohit’s mother Radhika sat on a dharna on the campus along with several students and Dalit organisation leaders, demanding the  vice-chancellor to explain the reason for suspending her son.

Several political leaders made a beeline to the varsity campus and registered their protest.

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