Lucknow, Jan 22: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday broke his silence on the suicide of Dalit scholar from University of Hyderabad, Rohith Vemula, saying that he was deeply saddened by the tragedy.
In his speech at the 6th convocation of the Bhimrao Ambedkar university in Lucknow, he choked and paused while referring to the scholar's death on last Sunday, triggering protests across the country.
"I am not going into the reasons, politics of the issue, but I empathise with the family who has lost so much," he said as tears welled up in his eyes.
He said that at a time when the entire nation looks up to the youth for inspiration and strength, a news like this brings sadness.
He told youngsters not to take such drastic steps.
Earlier at the event, two students raised slogans against the prime minister as union Home Minister Rajnath Singh concluded his speech and Modi rose to address the gathering.
As they shouted that the killers of Rohith Vemula were still alive and raised slogans like "go back Modi", police officials whisked them away and the prime minister began his speech.