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HCU suicide row: Pawar seeks stringent action against guilty

Protest  over Rohith Vemula's suicide

Mumbai : In the backdrop of the suicide by Hyderabad Central University’s student Rohith Vemula, NCP chief Sharad Pawar today called for “stringent action” against the minister responsible for writing a letter to authorities seeking action against the student.

“Since the last few days, NCP has been protesting against the student’s death. I firmly believe that stringent action should be taken against the minister who wrote a letter to authorities to build pressure on them to act against the student,” Pawar told reporters here.

The university campus has been the seen of protests after the Dalit student was found hanging in a hostel room on January 17, two weeks after he and four other students were suspended and banned from the hostel, the cafeteria and other common areas for allegedly beating an ABVP activist in August.

There are allegations that the action against the five students was a result of discrimination against them at the behest of Union Labour Minister Bandaru Dattatreya, who had written a letter to HRD Minister Smriti Irani, seeking action against their “anti-national acts”.

Subsequently, after Vemula’s suicide, the university revoked the suspension of the four students.

The students’ agitation on the issue in the form of relay hunger strike, peaceful seminars and rallies has received support from almost all non-BJP parties. Also, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi visited the campus twice.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, CPI General Secretary S Sudhakar Reddy, CPI(M) general Secretary Sitaram Yechury, YSRCP chief YS Jaganmohan Reddy and MIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi had also made it to the campus to express solidarity with the agitating students.

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