Dalit scholar death: Student leaders trash Smriti Irani's statement

Hyderabad, Jan 20: Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani has made a "wrong statement" regarding the protests in Hyderabad Central University over the alleged suicide of a Dalit scholar and the ongoing row in the institution, student leaders spearheading the agitation claimed here on Wednesday.

"We would like refute each and every point," a leader of the agitating students said. The students held consultations after Irani addressed a press conference in New Delhi.

Also read: Hyderabad varsity issue not Dalit versus non-Dalit: Smriti Irani

Student leaders trash Irani's statement

He said the Dalit and student movements have come together in the university following the alleged suicide of Vemula Rohith Chakravarthi. The minister mentioned that an executive council in the university had Dalit representatives but the body only had a co-opted SC member, he said.

On Irani's statement that a Congress leader (MP Hanumantha Rao) had also written on issues concerning the university, he said the minister should direct the university to implement the SC and ST sub-plan.

The minister stated that the suicide note of Rohit was the only document made available to her but the deceased had written to the Vice Chancellor earlier, he said.

The issues should not be made a BJP versus Congress issue as it is an issue of Rohit's alleged suicide and human rights, according to him.

The minister described the punishment given to the student as "lenient" but "social boycott" and "institutional murder" cannot be "lenient", the student leader said.

The students demanded the arrest of all those figuring in the FIR including Vice Chancellor Appa Rao Podile. The protesting students also burnt an effigy of the minister inside the campus.


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