Dattatreya’s letter triggered Rohith’s death: Owaisi

Hyderabad: All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Wednesday said that Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani was refusing to accept that it was the letter of Minister of State for Labour Bandaru Dattatreya that triggered the death of Rohith Vermula, the dalit scholar from the University of Hyderabad that committed suicide.

“In the light of statement issued by the HRD minister, I am totally amazed and shocked that their minister concerned has completely ignored the core issue of Rohith’s death. She has deliberately avoided saying that it was the letter of her Union Labour Minister which triggered this whole thing,” Owaisi said.

“I condemn this vicious, clandestine operation that is going on by the Hindutva forces throughout the country whereby they are wrongly justifying Rohith’s death by connecting it with Yakub Memon’s death,” he added.

Earlier, under-fire Smriti Irani asserted that the suicide of Rohith Vemula was not a Dalit versus a non-Dalit confrontation and attempts were being made to ‘ignite passion’ in the case of the Dalit scholar’s death across communities.

“This is not a Dalit versus non-Dalit issue as some people are trying to portray. There has been a malice attempt to ignite passions and present this as a caste battle it is not. This is an issue which is being investigated by local police and sub judice in the High Court,” she said.

She also attempted to shift the blame on the previous UPA regime and said things would have been in place at the moment had the Congress taken action then.

Irani attempted to defend Dattatreya, who has been charged with abetting Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula’s suicide.

Meanwhile, the Congress Party demanded an apology from her over her assertion and said that her argument only exposes the BJP’s anti-SC, anti-poor and intolerant mindset.

“Her argument of Dalit vs Non Dalit exposes the anti-SC, anti-poor and intolerant mindset of the BJP even further. We ask her to apologise,” Congress spokesperson Deepender Hooda told ANI.

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, who visited the University of Hyderabad yesterday, said that the varsity Vice Chancellor Appa Rao and Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya created the situation that made Rohith, a Dalit scholar studying there, kill himself.

The protests escalated yesterday over Rohith’s suicide with activists demonstrating outside the residence of Dattatreya, who has been accused of abetment of the Dalit scholar’s suicide and demanded his resignation.