'Suicide issue between patriotic people, political aspirants'

The Dalit student suicide is an issue between “patriotic people and political aspirants”, ABVP Hyderabad Central University president N Sushil Kumar on Thursday told a press conference on the Rohith Vemula suicide issue.

Accused of abetting Vemula suicide, Kumar said the student’s suicide note never mentioned him or his student outfit.

With the RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad facing allegations of siding with the anti-Dalit politics across campuses in the country, Kumar accused some ultra-Left student organisations of fanning “unpatriotic” sentiments.

He said the members of Ambedkar Students Association (ASA) beat him up for opposing their protest against Yakub Memon’s execution. 

The ABVP leader said he was forced into posting an apology letter on Facebook. “They never want to have a constructive debate. And why will I write an apology if I’m simply accused of not supporting someone’s view?” he said.

“They gave communal colour to student politics. Campus polarisation is because of them,” he said, adding that “scuffle” among student organisations is not new on the university campus.  “They breached our freedom of expression,” Kumar told reporters.

On the Dalit scholar’s suicide in HCU early this month, he said, “It’s really unfortunate that such a thing happened. We lost a great political opponent. There was never, ever, a personal grudge between anyone in our university – between SFI (Students Federation of India) and ABVP and ASA and ABVP.”

“It was never a Dalit and non-Dalit issue,” he added.
He remembered Vemula as a person who “confronted situations” in his life and said his fellow scholars from the ASA failed to identify his “suicidal tendencies”. He also demanded for a judicial inquiry into his suicide.

In his defence against accusations of abetting Vemula’s suicide, Kumar said he was faced reverse discrimination from the “so-called supporters of Dalit rights”.

He showed pictures of ASA students holding placards with slogans such as “Ek Yakub marogey toh har ghar se Yakub niklega (You kill Yakub, each house will produce a Yakub)” and “Yakub tere khoon se inquilab niklega (Yakub’s bloodshed will usher in an uprising)” and alleged that the pictures were pulled down from Facebook after the student suicide.

The BJP and ABVP leaders had earlier accused Vemula of offering namaz for Yakub Memon after he convicted for his role in 1993 Mumbai serial blasts. Memon was sent to gallows on July 30, 2015.

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