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Rohit suicide creates tremors in national politics

Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Hyderabad

The suicide of PhD student Rohit Chakravarthi Vemula from Dalit community in his hostel room sparked nationwide protests.

Meanwhile Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal demanded the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to extend apologies for the suicide of Rohit at Hyderabad Central University. In twitter, he demanded that the ministers Bandaru Dattatreya and Smruti Irani should be sent away from their ministerial posts. A massive protest programme will be held today at Jantar Mantar at 3pm on the issue.

Kejriwal tweets::
‘’Modi govt constitutionally duty bound to uplift dalits. Instead Modi ji's ministers got five dalit students ostracised n suspended It's not suicide. It's murder. It's murder of democracy, social justice n equality. Modi ji shd sack ministers n aplogoize to the nation.’’

Jagan enquires with Rohit's mother:
YSRCP president Jagan Mohan Reddy telephoned to the mother of Rohit and expressed shock over the suicide. He demanded stringent action should be taken on those responsible for the suicide of Rohit. ‘The party would extend support needed to her, he said.

Rahul Gandhi visits HCU campus
Meanwhile, the two member team appointed by the Union HRD ministry arrived HCU and are on the job. AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi is visiting the HCU campus to have first hand information about the incident. He will have direct interaction with the students’ unions.

Meanwhile student unions continue to stage protests today at the HCU at the Vice Chancellor’s office. They demanded immediate suspension of the Vice-Chancellor Apparao. On the other hand, the HCU JAC announced that they would continue protests till VC is sacked. They also demanding revocation of suspension on the four of the Dalit students.


Some of the facts:

  • From July, the university stopped paying Rohith his monthly stipend of Rs 25,000 (excluding HRA), with friends alleging that he was targeted for raising issues under the banner of Ambedkar Students Association (ASA). A university official denied the allegation, blaming the delay on “paperwork”.
  • On August 5, the university set up an inquiry against Rohith and four other ASA members, two days after they allegedly assaulted ABVP leader N Susheel Kumar.
  • On August 17, Dattatreya wrote to HRD Minister urging action and claiming that the “Hyderabad University… has in the recent past, become a den of casteist, extremist and anti-national politics”.
  • After a series of flip-flops, the five were suspended in September. On December 17, the decision was upheld.
  • On January 3, after the sanction was confirmed, the five moved out of their hostel rooms to a tent they set up inside the campus and began a “relay hunger protest”.
  • On Sunday, police recovered a “suicide note” in the room where Rohith hanged himself. It read: “I feel a growing gap between my soul and my body. And I have become a monster.”


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