The unfortunate death of a Dalit student researcher following rustication under insistence from Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya has led to new protests from Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.
The incident took place on Sunday when the student was denied help even by Dalit professors in the University of Hyderabad following the pressure from the union minister. He silently walked into a hostel room and hanged himself to death.
While the incident soon evoked anger and instant night-long protest by other Dalit students displaying the body of the dead student, police had to intervene and take away the body and arrest the protesting students. But the incident got support from Delhi Chief Minister Arvind kejriwal who said the errant minister who intervened in varsity administration to effect the rustication of the student should be sacked from the Union Cabinet.
On its part, the Congress party too has seized the opportunity and its leader Rahul Gandhi air-dashed to Hyderabad to visit the campus and extend solidarity with the agitating dalit students over the death of their co-student, Rohith Vemula, 27. "Congress demands that Dattatreya resigns with immediate effect, failing which the Prime Minister should sack him,” party spokesman R P N Singh said.
Vemula and four other students were suspended by the university in August last year after a rift with BJP student wing ABVP. His stipend was stopped and he was finally asked to leave the hostel, reportedly after a letter by by Minister Dattatrya. The incident finally led to the student to commit suicide on Sunday.
Police have registered an FIR against the minister for "abetting" suicide with his letter to the university administration that led to severe punishment of the student leading to his death.[category, education] [tags, hyderabad university, dalit student suicide, protests, arvind kejriwal, rahul gandhi, bjp, abvp politics]