Rohith Vemula’s mother wants Smriti Irani to be arrested

Written by: Maitreyee Boruah
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Hyderabad, July 8: Days after cabinet reshuffle, Radhika Vemula, mother of Dalit research scholar Rohith, said the former Human Research Development (HRD) minister Smriti Irani should be arrested.

In the recent much-talked about cabinet rejig, Irani has been transferred from the HRD ministry. Currently she holds the portfolio of ministry of textiles.


It was during Irani's controversial tenure when the 26-year-old Dalit research scholar committed suicide inside the campus of University of Hyderabad (UoH) on January 17.

"Smriti Irani is one of the main people responsible for the death of my son. She needs to be arrested and not transferred to another ministry," Radhika Vemula told media.


"I am afraid to live alone with my younger son...We are under constant surveillance. What difference does Smriti Irani's transfer make to our lives or the Justice for Rohith campaign?" she added.

The family and friends of Rohith allege that the 26-year-old committed suicide because of the harassment he faced at the hands of the university's vice-chancellor Appa Rao and senior BJP leaders, including Irani.
The former HRD minister has been named as an accused in the complaint under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act.

Radhika had earlier said that the HRD minister harassed and tortured her because of her caste.

"Mrs Smriti Irani, the honorable HRD minister, has treated me as if I am worth nothing. She has harassed and tortured me in the name of my caste. Because of this I have lost my son, Rohith, and my adoptive mother. To this date, this government is trying very hard to prove that I am not a Dalit, that I do not belong to the scheduled caste. This is a shame and causes deep pain," said Radhika.

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