Dalit student suicide: Oppn steps up attack on Modi govt

Dalit student suicide: Oppn steps up attack on Modi govt

As the opposition stepped up its attack on the Modi government over suicide by a dalit student in Hyderabad, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today said an "environment of intolerance" led to the incident while Congress demanded that the Prime Minister break his silence.

With no let up in protests against the suicide in Hyderabad and other cities, former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and NC chief Farooq Abdullah said there should be a central probe immediately and warned the Centre that the incident will blow out of proportion and will be difficult to control if this was not done.

BSP chief Mayawati, a former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, demanded legal action against Union Ministers Smriti Irani and Bandaru Dattatreya over the suicide by Rohith Vemula, a research scholar at Hyderabad Central University (HCU) on Sunday.

As a steady stream of political leaders visited the HCU campus, Trinamool Congress MP Derek O'Brien said his party would coordinate with other parties in supporting the agitating students. "This is the fight for justice versus injustice. This is intolerance," he told reporters in Hyderabad.

"It's a matter of concern for the country that a dalit student is forced to take his life over his unpleasant treatment," Nitish Kumar told reporters in Patna.

"The forces that have emerged in the post-liberalisation phase has created an environment of intolerance in the society which poses a danger to growth in the country," the JD(U) leader said in a veiled dig at the BJP-led NDA government.

Congress spokesperson Deepender Singh Hooda demanded that Prime Minister Narendra Modi "break his silence and take concrete action" in this case and sack Dattatreya.

The Congress, however, did not press for resignation of Irani but insisted on a probe by a sitting high court judge against her.

"The attitude of the ministers against Dalit student Rohith Vemula was grossly condemnable and undemocratic. The party demands strict legal action against two central ministers(Irani and Dattatreya) and the VC(Appa Rao), who forced Rohith to commit suicide," Mayawati said in a statement.

Karnataka Chief Minister  Siddaramaiah targeted Irani and Dattatreya over the incident, alleging that such a "condition" was created by them.

CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said the incidents in the HCU are part of a larger issue of BJP's alleged "game" of turning the country into a 'Hindu Rashtra' and demanded resignation of Irani and an "independent inquiry" into the suicide.

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