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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Dalit student's suicide: National Commission for SC alleges politics surrounding death - DNA



Tue, 19 Jan 2016-12:00am , Hyderabad , PTI

Noting that the names of Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya and the university VC have been mentioned in the FIR in connection with the incident, P L Punia said there should be a fair investigation into it.

Alleging that "politics" had taken place in the alleged suicide of a Dalit student in the central university in Hyderabad, National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) chairman P L Punia on Monday said the Commission would take up the issue strongly.

Rohit Vemula, a Dalit PhD scholar, was found hanging at the Central University's hostel room in the campus yesterday triggering protests from fellow students this morning. The deceased was among the five research scholars, who were suspended by the university in August last year and also one of the accused in the case of assault on a student leader.


Recalling the sequence of events in HCU with regard to the alleged suicide, Punia said, "When action was against them (students), Vice Chancellor took back the action also. A statement comes later. Politics happened in between."

"Dattatreyaji, Labour Minister, he is a senior leader. He writes a letter. That letter comes here. It starts moving in a circle. A total U-turn is taken. All this incident happened...," he said.

Speaking after visiting the university, he said he would seek a report from the police, administration and the university.
"The NCSC would take up the issue strongly," Punia said.

Noting that the names of Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya and the university VC have been mentioned in the FIR in connection with the incident, he said there should be a fair investigation into it.

Rohit's fellow students have demanded immediate removal of Dattatreya from the Union Cabinet alleging that he was instrumental in suspension of the students from the university.
Recalling an incident at IIT Madras earlier, Punia alleged that there is a pattern in the type of incidents that are happening, after the NDA government came to power, in which Dalit students are at the receiving end.

"There is a pattern. It happened in Madras IIT also. An anonymous complaint comes. It comes from Ministry of Human Resource Development and the IIT there de-recognises Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle, there be will no activity. They take all action. Same type of pattern. This (HCU incident) is also a pattern. Why this pattern happens for Scheduled Caste students after this government came to power. They start with make-believe stories and find the Scheduled Caste people culprit," Punia said.
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There is a cut in the budget for education, health, housing and sanitation which provide benefit to the SCs and Adivasis, he said. He said he would not like to comment on the investigation into the incident. Punia, however, said the Prevention of Atrocities Act provides for completion of investigation within 30 days.