Hyderabad, Jan 20: Protests intensified at the Hyderabad Central University today over the alleged suicide of a Dalit research scholar even as more politicians headed to the campus, demanding resignation of Union Minister Smriti Irani.
Under attack, the university Vice Chancellor claimed there had been "no pressure" from Union Ministers or the HRD Ministry to act against the youth but offered to facilitate talks to restore peace on the campus.
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, spokesperson of TMC Derek O'Brien and YSR Congress president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy interacted with the students, who have been on warpath demanding justice for 26-year-old Vemula Rohith Chakravarthi who was found hanging in his hostel room on Sunday.
Police took into preventive custody some activists of the pro-CPI All India Students Federation (AISF) when they tried to hold a demonstration near the residence of Union Minister of State for Labour and Employment Bandaru Dattatreya, who has been accused of being responsible for the death.
Yechury said the incidents in the HCU are part of a larger issue of BJP's alleged "game" of turning the country into a 'Hindu Rashtra' and demanded resignation of HRD Minister Smriti Irani and an "independent inquiry" into the incident.
"It is part of the larger issue of intolerance. Intolerance is also part of the larger issue. The larger issue is transform this secular, democratic, republic of India as our Constitution says, into what they want, a rabidly intolerant fascistic Hindu Rashtra. That is the larger game," the CPI(M) leader alleged while talking to reporters.
"We are saying let there be an independent inquiry. It could be judicial, non-judicial, but something which is not foisted by the same minister who has through her pressure created this situation and the unfortunate suicide.
So let that be there and all those who are part of this conspiracy, I would call, it's a criminal conspiracy, according to the new law we passed in Parliament, they must be tried according to the criminal offence," he said.
"The HRD Minister has to go," Yechury said. He also said that his party would represent to the President, who is the visitor of the university, and ask him on what basis the HCU was conferred the best university award by him last year.
He said his party MP from Kerala, T N Seema, has written to the President saying that it is not morally tenable for her to continue as a member of the court of the university in the prevailing situation unless the vice chancellor is dismissed by the court.