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Dalit student suicide: fresh protests, Yechury to visit campus

Protest in Bengaluru

Hyderabad  : Fresh protests today rocked the Hyderabad Central University over the alleged suicide of a Dalit student even as several politicians headed to the city including YSR Congress leader Y S Jaganmohan Reddy and CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury.

A group of students carrying placards and raising slogans protested in the tense University campus this morning.

Besides Hyderabad many cities across the country including in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and Chennai were rocked by protests yesterday.

Reddy and Yechury are scheduled to meet the protesting students of the University today.

The suicide by the dalit student Rohith Veluma has snowballed into a major issue with BJP’s rivals wading into it and demanding the removal of Union Ministers Smriti Irani and Bandaru Dattatreya, accusing them of being responsible for the death.

Rahul Gandhi had yesterday led the multi-party charge attacking the government and the Vice Chancellor Appa Rao, saying, “The VC and the Union Ministers in Delhi have not acted fairly. This youngster was put in so much pain that he had no option but to kill himself.”

Though he did not name Irani, who had just over the week attacked Rahul in his constituency Amethi of failing youths there, the reference was obvious to her against the backdrop of ministry’s action which is blamed for the suicide by the dalit research scholar on Sunday night.

Various political parties and leaders have blamed Labour Minister Dattatreya’s letter of Aug 17 last year to Irani seeking action against the “anti national activities” of a students union and the alleged assault of an ABVP leader and a series of five communications from the HRD Ministry between Sept 3 and Nov 19 demanding follow up action for the suicide.

The HRD ministry, however, has rejected allegations that it had put any pressure on the University relating to either suspension of Rohith or keeping him out of the hostel.

The communications, it maintained, was not aimed at putting pressure but was in compliance with the standard protocol adopted in accordance with the Central Secretariat Manual of Procedure whenever a “VIP Reference” is received.

Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will visit University of Hyderabad tomorrow to meet the students and family members of the Dalit scholar.

Kejriwal, who was scheduled to visit Bengaluru for undergoing naturopathy treatment for his chronic cough on January 22 for 10 days has deferred his visit and will now go there after Republic Day.

“The Chief Minister will visit University of Hyderabad tomorrow to meet the students and the family members of the Dalit scholar who committed suicide,” said sources in Delhi government.

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