Social Justice and Empowerment Ministry has sought a report from Telangana government over the alleged suicide by a dalit student of Hyderabad Central University.
“The Secretary, Social Justice and Empowerment has written to the Chief Secretary Telangana government and sought a report over the suicide by a dalit student of Hyderabad University,” said a Ministry official.
Chairman of Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) Sukhdeo Thorat had met Social Justice Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot on Monday and handed him a memorandum submitted by the expelled students.
The incident has snowballed into a major issue with BJP rivals wading into it and demanding the removal of Union Ministers Smriti Irani and Bandaru Dattatreya, accusing them of being responsible for the student’s death.
Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya and Hyderabad University Vice Chancellor have been named in an FIR over the alleged suicide of the dalit student.
The issue took a political turn with allegations that the extreme action was a result of discrimination against dalit students at the behest of Dattatreya, who had written a letter to Irani, seeking action against their “anti-national acts”.
The deceased student, Rohith Vemula, was among the five research scholars who were suspended by Hyderabad Central University (HCU) in August last year and also one of the accused in the case of assault on a student leader. They were also kept out of the hostel.
Protests escalated in Hyderabad and cities across the country including in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and Chennai. Student organisations including the pro-Left AISA and AAP-backed CYSS and Congress’ NSUI held protests at Jantar Mantar and the HRD ministry in the capital demanding sacking of the ministers and strong action against the HCU VC.