Dalit student suicide: Rahul Gandhi seeks action against University of Hyderabad Vice-Chancellor

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi conversing with mother of Rohith Vemula and other suspended students at University of Hyderabad campus. Photo: Nagara Gopal  

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday launched a vitriolic attack on the BJP-led NDA government, accusing Union Ministers and the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hyderabad of not being fair, thus forcing Dalit research scholar Rohith Vemula to commit suicide.

Mr. Gandhi, who flew down to the Begumpet airport here, drove straight to the university campus, which witnessed widespread protests demanding action against the Union Ministers, the Vice-Chancellor and others allegedly responsible for the suicide of Vemula.

The research scholar, along with four others, was suspended from the university hostel and barred from entering the administrative building, though they were allowed to attend classes.

Addressing the students, Mr. Gandhi expressed solidarity with them and called for action against those ‘responsible’ for Vemula’s suicide, including the Vice-Chancellor and Union Ministers.

‘An institutionally orchestrated murder’

For the third day in a row, the University of Hyderabad witnessed protests by student organisations over the suicide.

A two-member fact-finding team of the Human Resource Development Ministry visited the campus.

But it was Mr. Gandhi’s visit that assumed significance. It was a crowd of no fewer than 200 students who met Mr. Gandhi.

In a 20-minute speech, he said: “In this case, the V-C and the Minister in Delhi have not been fair, and the youngster was caused so much pain that he had no other option but to kill himself.”

While the student had committed suicide, “the condition for his suicide was created by the V-C, the Minister and the institution.”

Mr. Gandhi said students should be allowed to express their political opinions on campus. The students told him that Vemula’s death should be considered an “institutionally orchestrated murder.”

Mr. Gandhi also demanded adequate compensation. “Compensation means, respect, job and financial support. As the student who killed himself was his family’s hope for a better future, that future should be provided to the family in terms of compensation.”

Vemula’s five-page poignant suicide note, triggered grief and much finger-pointing online:

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Printable version | May 13, 2021 3:11:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/Dalit-student-suicide-Rahul-Gandhi-seeks-action-against-University-of-Hyderabad-Vice-Chancellor/article14012154.ece

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